Street Artists Are Calling Out The Agency That Painted Over The Newtown Mural

Street artists across Australia are calling out the Melbourne ad agency that painted over an iconic Sydney mural for pulling similar stunts at other sites.

Apparition Media recently found itself in hot water after it painted over the iconic ‘It’s Like A Jungle Sometimes‘ mural in Newtown to replace it with an ad for the new Darren Aronofsky film ‘mother!‘.

As well as large community backlash, it transpired the agency didn’t seek council approval. “[We], like many members of the public, was very disappointed to see the iconic ‘it’s a jungle sometimes’ artwork painted over and this matter is being investigated by Council’s Compliance Section,” an Inner West Council spokesperson told PEDESTRIAN.TV.

Apparition Media apologised for the error, and agreed to work with the original artist to reinstate the mural following the end of the promotion, but now a number of street artists are calling out the agency for pulling similar stunts in other spaces.

“I was glad to see Apparition Media put on blast today for painting over Colin Bebe‘s iconic “It’s like a jungle sometimes ” mural in Newtown,” said the Sydney-based Scottie Marsh on Instagram (you probably know him, among other things, for the ‘Kanye Kissing Kanye‘ mural).

“This agency has a history of circumventing artists, paying property owners to paint ads over public murals. Culture vultures feeding off the fad of street art and graffiti culture while shitting on the people who created it.

“If they are painting your advertisements your tarred with the same brush. All your ads deserve a good dose of chrome and black.”

Two other artists have also taken to Instagram to call out Apparition Media for painting over existing artwork.

Artist Elliot Routledge, who works under the name funskull, claims the agency worked with the owner of a wall to turn a spot previously used for street art into a rotating advertising space.


“I was told by the owner of Apparition Media they had gained permission to paint an ad over this wall, as a one time only thing. Needless to say that was not the case and they created an agreement with the owner to turn this public mural wall into a rotating billboard.

“This seems to be happening more and more these days, and companies like this need to be called out by councils. Or at least these companies need to find their own blank walls… I would also urge any home owners to steer clear of these dodgy dealings and think about the bigger picture. Do we really want our neighbourhoods plastered with more ads, or free public art? I know where I stand.”

And artist drapla said a similar thing happened with him and this Brisbane mural, which was painted over within a week of its completion in 2015.

A spokesperson for Apparition Media told P.TV that they have “no intention of painting over walls with existing murals”.

While earlier this week the company acknowledged that a mistake had been made in regards to the Newtown mural, no similar mistake had been made in these cases.

“We approached funskull before painting the wall and he gave us permission to paint over it,” the spokesperson said.

“In regards to the Brisbane mural, we didn’t paint over any mural. It was a plain white wall. The landlord had that mural painted over months before we even approached them about it.”