Controversy: The Street Art of Newtown, Australia

Newtown is a bustling suburb nestled just south of Sydney’s business district near the University of Sydney. Home to many parks, pubs, and novelty shops; it’s no question that this economic enclave is bursting at the seams with diversity. As a result, there’s a certain ubiquitous social & political freedom weaved into the cityscape, expressed through many mediums--particularly its street art.

During an afternoon stroll through the alleyways that make up the town, I came upon some pretty intense handiwork.

Enmore street is filled with unlicensed wheat pasted posters that rally against any forms of imperialism, colonialism, fascism, homophobia, and patriarchy…A far cry from the more subtle street art you’ll find in the actual city of Sydney.

On the contrary, there are many licensed artists legally commissioned by the city to beautify their designated walls throughout the back alleys, as pictured below.

Every now and then however, you'll run into the work of that one artist who decided that a wall just wasn't enough...

Many of the residents of Newtown seem to have found ways coexist with the street artists, often allowing them to use their own homes as canvasses.

Functionality meets the abstract, as this particular business commissioned an artist to create this 'no parking' sign that doubles as a statement piece.

As you venture further out, you'll find that most of the residences paint a much more conservative picture of the free-spirited town.

And then you have those that just ain't here for it. Period.

What colorful cities have you visited?  Let us know in the comments below!