I had a really fun discussion on the weekend about the validity of street art, and its balance between the illicit tagging and the exhibited stencil ends of the spectrum, and where the New Zealand, and particularly Wellington blend sits.
While we've got our very own Misery and Mephisto Jones making some pretty clever statements and developing recognisable styles, they seem to have been repdily elevated to the gallery (maybe not so much the gallery as the canvas on a cafe or clothes shop wall). We seem to be lacking the buy-in from the wider community that it is a valid art form. Witness Melbourne's city-wide embrace of stencil and managed grafitti. Or Banksy's sustained efforts in delivering high-brow messages through a lo-brow medium. But then we have a whole seedy undebelly of society who view it only as a self-branding exercise, making no point other than they were there.
Maybe the stage is perfectly set for a considered showcase of street art, to position it apart form the mundane tagging that councils are poised to come down hard on.