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Taupo taken to with 390 cans of spray paint...in the name of art

Taupo was recently graffitied with 390 cans of spray paint and 280 litres of paint, but don’t worry, this was no act of vandalism. The coloured effort was all part of street art festival Graffiato, which involved a selection of local and international leading street artists taking to blank walls to create vibrant and colourful permanent artworks. 

Curated by Cut Collective member, Ross Liew, the inaugural Graffiato festival will be a biennial festival delivered by Erupt Events, Taupo’s Arts Trust.

Liew selected a mixture of both established and emerging artists, including those who specialise in freehand, stencil, airbrush and chalk art techniques. The origin of the artists were just as diverse as the techniques, with artists from Russia, North America, Columbia, South Africa, England and new Zealand all taking part.   

“Graffiato has permanently changed the face of street art in New Zealand,” said Liew. “It was an outstanding creative collaboration by many of our best and most recognised street artists, who thrived on the opportunity to come together for an intensive and energising weekend of Street Art.” 

Described as more “art” than “decoration, Liew added that it takes passion to deal with the “unpredictable nature” that comes with the territory of street art. 

“Public scrutiny, the rain, the wind, the unpredictable surfaces are just part of the challenge,” he said. “If an artist is going to endure this then it makes sense that their work reflects the passion that drives them outside in the first place.”

After more than 400 hours of painting overt the weekend, the event resulted in 18 artworks. Here’s a few for your perusing eyes:

Tanja Jade adding detail to her collaborative artwork with Miss Mica, outside Hi Fashion

Drypnz at work on this collaborative 8 metre long artwork with Enforce1, alongside Taupo Plastics

Curator and guest artist, TrustMe, working with local Taupo youth at the Graffiato workshop

City’s Picasso-pop-art adorning Shirley’s Shoes Wall

Ghstie’s iconic fish adorn the Taupo Sea Scout Den walls

Large Scale Work: BMD at work on their 3 story high artwork on the exterior of Starlight Cinema