Art in public spaces once consisted of statues of royalty and monuments to war heroes, explorers and the wealthy, but all that has changed. Art now celebrates and enhances all our lives in a way it never has before. Everywhere you look solo artists, commissioned artists, artists working with architects and undercover artists with spray cans are enlivening where we live.
In a small Australian country town, the faces of unknown migrants were painted on a seven-storey building. Nearby, a group of incognito farmers were painted on even taller wheat silos. While taller still, a major city building incorporated the face of a hitherto ignored Indigenous hero, William Barak, into the structure.
Walls are covered in exuberant, exciting street art and our roadways and bridges are decorated in a way to make our journeys more interesting.
But not all the art is loved. Art is now often demanded. A percentage of council and developers budgets are sometimes required to be spent on public art and the choices are not always loved. Like the five metre high barking dog, the green slime draped over a city building and a building voted one of the ugliest in the world.
So what is good public art?