When business kills art…Culture Kings or Culture Frauds?

I don’t normally write these sorts of rants, but for those who don’t know, in Melbourne we have a massive Graffiti laneway in Hosier Lane that draws in tourists every year. This laneway has seen works from the likes of Banksy and is packed with tourists day every day. It’s not uncommon to go there and see the graffiti artists at work, and their art is phenomenal. Whilst graffiti may not seem to have much relevance to photography, this laneway is a big attraction for photographers, both amateur and professional alike.

Enter Culture Kings, or “Culture Frauds” more appropriately, a brand that tries to portray it’s roots as the street, a culture it ironically chooses to ignore. Culture Frauds decides to position themselves in graffiti laneway, creates a back entrance in the laneway itself to take advantage of the people looking at graffiti, commissions a huge graffiti billboard in said graffiti laneway and then calls the cops when the real graffiti artists move in and paint on it.

Killing the culture that laid the golden egg

Yes, you read that right. So they’ve moved into a location where graffiti is the tourist attraction, are trying to leverage the tourist attraction to create business, and are trying to destroy the actual thing that drives tourists to the location? That’s like moving a candy store next door to a major theme parkand complaining about the noise from the kids. It’s a face palm moment of the extreme.

Let’s be clear, “Culture Frauds”:

  • The graffiti artists were there long before you, it’s time for you to respect that
  • The graffiti artists are what draws the crowds to the proximity of your store, not your store…if you kill that, you kill the crowds and your store in the process. I would have expected your management to know that but apparently basic business strategy 101 isn’t high on their education.
  • If you create a store on a graffiti attraction, whilst you may have the legal right to stop the graffiti, we have the legal right to not buy anything from your store and promote others do the same. Your business is reliant on customers.
  • If you create a store called “Culture Kings” which is based on street culture, surely it’s only appropriate to respect that culture?

I for one will NEVER buy a product in your store and I hope customers do the same because to call yourself Culture Kinds and show your disregard for Melbourne’s culture is nothing short of appalling.

If you’re unhappy about it, head across to the Culture Fraud’s website and leave them some negative feedback. Hopefully if enough people do, they’ll realise we aren’t going to accept it.




Published by

The Overrated Photographer

I am a forty something year old Melbourne based photographer covering a broad range of genre’s from sports to portraits and travel. My introduction into photography started with doing some kitesurfing photos, but with the arrival of my first daughter, my focus shifted to family and the vast majority of my photos are either family or street. I still try to get extreme sports when I am not kitesurfing myself. My current non-personal photography work is confined to charity and not-for-profit engagements where I am engaged in photography for a number charity events to give back to the community and help support fund raising for these organisations. These include the homeless and cancer events. I do not currently do any paid commercial work as I run a successful non-photography business and this allows me to explore my personal creativity with photography.

2 thoughts on “When business kills art…Culture Kings or Culture Frauds?”

  1. Great post Athol. There is a demonstration in Hosier Lane on Sunday week after Father’s Day…could be worth a few photos.

    Sent from my iPad



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