Monday, 30 July 2012

Street Art Central

There has recently been a ruckus over the removal of graffiti/Street Art from certain areas in London. Pro-Street Art campaigners (artists, appreciative locals, local business) want more to be done to protect work and the anti camp (some local residents, councillors etc) are pushing for a mass clean up especially in these Olympic times. Their thinking being that a spotless, plain wall is a lot more desirable than some intricate brightly coloured mural or abstract piece of social commentary (work that one out).

We are incredibly lucky to be situated fairly near one of London's most heavily and beautifully decorated Street Art hubs, that of Brick Lane. Murals, bejewelled alien looking polymer sculptures (by the super talented Cityzenkane who happens to have a studio in the area) and various other installations stretch from Old Street itself towards Aldgate East. It is an absolute pleasure on a sunny day to go out with a camera and document these works of art.

Most of the pieces we have personally photographed and seen in our local area are stunning. Whether they are brightly daubed cartoons or dark and brooding portraits they have immense artistic value. Street artists in Shoreditch are venerated, many were invited to the first ever Rivington Street Festival, where they created some beautiful work throughout the day. We do understand that tagging (the scrawling of an artists tag) across signage and property can cost thousands to remove and can be perceived as an eyesore, but true Street Art is a great draw for tourists and it certainly adds character to otherwise blandly painted buildings.

Street Art as a whole is about fluidity, change and sometimes sorely needed social commentary. There seems to be an unwritten code between artists and they have respect for each others work. After a piece has been completed it's often left for period of time to be viewed and then weeks later something new will pop up and take its place. We have a passion for photographing Street Art for this reason, although the original disappears it remains captured forever digitally.

It was put to us by a friend that perhaps there should be more graffiti zones, where artists can go and create without damaging property. They serve a purpose yes, but true Street Art is desirable because of its ability to make people think or to bring something breathtakingly beautiful to somebodies doorstep. It is an evolving, living entity breathing life into dusty streets.

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