The Secrets Behind Australian Street Art


Finding a piece of art that makes you smile is pretty important. The best part? The experience is universal, and Australian street art takes it out of the gallery and onto water towers, walls and tunnels right around the country.

From the mystery mural hidden behind the iconic Kings Cross billboard, to incredible hand painted murals by local artists, we take a look at some of the best murals Australia has delivered.

Art uncovered

There's a secret behind the famous Kings Cross Coca‑Cola Billboard. Having perched above the glittering strip of inner-city nightlife for more than four decades, it wasn’t until 2015 that the original artwork was accidentally discovered.

Completely unaware of the historical artwork that lay beneath, Coca‑Cola gave the billboard a makeover that required the original boards to be removed completely.

As the panels were stripped away from the wall, the previously unseen artwork was revealed. The mystery: who painted it?

The man behind the mystery was Blue Mountains-based artist Roger Foley, who produced lighting installations under the alias Ellis D Fogg and in 1973, he was commissioned to paint a tipped bottle on the wall.

Less than a year later, the famous Coca‑Cola billboard was installed and has inhabited the space ever since. From celebrating diversity to lighting up for Vivid, the Kings Cross billboard remains one of Australia’s most prominent pieces of public art.

The rise of street art

In Melbourne, deconstructed coffee and street art reigns supreme with artists leaving their mark in backstreets from Collins Street to Flinders Lane. Sydney-based street artist Mulga has been decorating cities since 2012 and pink flamingos and magical gorillas are only two of the many different characters Mulga has created.

After seeing Mulga’s vibrant imagery and authentic style, Coca‑Cola decided he was the perfect fit for their 2016 Coke summer campaign and a partnership was born.

Mulga’s work with Coca‑Cola featured on all of the Company’s social channels including a bespoke Snapchat campaign with unlockable geofilters designed by Mulga.  

Mulga isn’t the only street artist to catch some attention, with many others also turning a simple building into a work of art. Queensland's Fintan Magee is another artist on a mission to turn streets people walk past every day into a source of inspiration.

Fintan’s three-story artwork Cross-section of a Lighthouse is a striking artwork with a 3D effect, making passersby feel as though the artwork could spring to life at any moment.

Channeling your inner superhero

Muralist Faith Kerehona was only 14 when she started decorating several streets around Canberra and has spent much of her time brightening up the walls of Tocumwal Lane.

Along with established artists like Byrd and Jonathan Houl, Tocumwal Lane is covered with artwork inspired by some of your favourite superheroes, including Faith’s Poison Ivy artwork. This is one street you’ll want to seek out.

Local talent changing the landscape

Mimby Jones Robinson is another artist changing the landscapes of her local streets through her mesmerising large-scale goddess murals.

Commissioned last year, Rainbow Queen is Mimby’s largest work to date and covers the entire wall of the Elizabeth Shopping Centre in Adelaide. Along with a group of international street artists, Mimby also worked on revamping the walls of Chesser Lane during the 2017 Street Art Explosion.

Whether you’re a fan of superhero designs, vibrant goddess imagery or the hidden secret artwork behind the Coca‑Cola billboard, it’s clear to see there’s no shortage of captivating street art around Australia.

Want to know how you can make a career out of art? Read about Caitlin Bowron, Coca‑Cola’s art curator.

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