Andrew J Bourke, Fitzroy
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Sharp beaks and piercing eyes are qualities held in common by both eagle and vulture, although the power and strength of the former help to make it a more popular subject with artists than the scavenging vulture.
Pete Cto, St Kilda
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Pete Cto's skills as a photorealist are obvious in his wall in St Kilda. The warm glow of the candlelight on the girl's face is beautifully balanced by the cool reflections reminiscent of water at night.
Juan Delgado, Collingwood
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There is a melancholy associated with skulls and skeletons, a memento mori – a reminder of the death and mortality that awaits us all. Juan Delgado has mused upon the symbolism of the skull.
Steve Cross, Richmond
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Steve Cross' portraits are equally impressive on wall or roller door. Many of them feature fluid lines that move from the background across the face, adding a further dynamic element to the powerful images.
Vexta, eye by ELLE, CBD
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Stencil artist Vexta, originally based in Sydney, has spent much time in Melbourne but is now based in New York. Hers is a dream-like world, filled with kaleidoscopic shards of colours, and characterised by vibrant bursts of pigment, often fluorescent or neon. She first painted this hemisphere in 2016 and then repainted it in early 2017. Brooklyn artist ELLE added the eye peeping from the recess at the left.
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Dvate has a strong reputation for painting graff lettering as well as photorealistic native animals. The platypus opposite swims on a stream filled with rubbish – the Yarra Ranges Council funded the wall t encourage stormwater drain awareness in an area where the platypus still lives but is vulnerable to the effects of pollution.
LucyLucy, Box Hill
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LucyLucy is a French artist who has made Melbourne her home. LucyLucy's works invariably suggest a story or a relationship – this image is a celebration of sisterhood with a Japanese city in a suburban laneway. LucyLucy's exclusively female characters are always beautiful but she adds to their charm by draping them in delightfully patterned fabrics or twining them with flowing ribbons.
Unknown, Fitzroy North
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The quirky approach to adorning windows and doorways on the front of the house pictured here is a way of engaging with the street and the passerby.
Makatron, November 2013
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Croft Alley, a narrow lane in Chinatown, was originally a through lane but is now a dead end, with the Croft Institute, one of Melbourne's quirkiest laneway bars, at its end. It's a popular destination for its street art as much as for its laboratory-themed bar.
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Adnate is a world-renowned portrait artist who works on a large scale. Over the past few years he has spent time in Aboriginal communities in remote locations such as Arnhem Land and the Kimberley, personally photographing the people in the portraits he paints.
Hitnes and Vans the Omega, March 2014
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Street art is ephemeral. This is, in fact, one of the most typical qualities of a vibrant urban subculture. Work appears, work disappears, It's vulnerable. Artists let it go. But the speed and ease of digital documentation grants street art permanence of a kind. Another work by Heesco and Duke was on this wall later in October 2014.
Peter Drew, Carlton
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The plight of refugees and asylum seekers is an important area of social discourse in Australia. Serious social commentary is made by Peter Drew with his posters of the unsung heroes of early Australian immigration.
Cezary Stulgis and Benjamin Reeve, Queen Pig, CBD
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There is much for the onlooker to think about here. Queen Pig has been painted with areas of transparent skin, its interiors holding not only internal organs but also surreal details.
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Drasko's stencils are sprayed onto footpaths and walls to create visual illusions, He consciously distorts images by using anamorphic projection. Hs stencils are best enjoyed from the position in which that distortion appears.
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The fluid, swirling lines here belong to the artist Ruskidd. Rich colours and joyful, dynamic rhythm belie the flatness of the wall and are reminiscent of the patterns and shapes found in nature.
Burn City by Lou Chamberlin
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This is an edited extract from Burn City by Lou Chamberlin published by Hardie Grant Travel ($29.99) and is available in store nationally. All photography © Lou Chamberlin.