Because graffiti are so yesterday…
I had never taken a particular interest in street art, perhaps because I didn’t come into contact with it often until I relocated to London. These days it seems to be everywhere.
What is street art? I have always perceived it as a form of creative expression that is much more liberal than fine art or the opera, for example. As something disruptive, non-mainstream, underground. Art from the people for the people.
I have come across some quite surprising forms of street art and I don’t mean those super realistic trompe l’oeil pavement paintings of lakes that give you the illusion that you can dip your toes into the asphalt or even take a swim.
Take this door covered in stickers.What was the idea behind it? Did someone just need an object on which to stick all of their stickers? Were they trying to hide the rusty surface and this was a cheaper alterntive to paint? Or is this a street collage created with a definite idea in mind?
I stumbled upon it while in Shoreditch, a striking neighbourhood that occupies some sort of a borderline between dimensions. One half of brick pubs, white churches and ruinous houses with gaping windows has merged with another that is all about monumental metal and glass skyscrapers and shiny luxury boutiques. It’s London at its highest, brightest, craziest contrasts.
Then again not all street art is non-conformist, some of it is mainstream and commercial. One look at this mural covering the facade of a South Bank building (once again venue speaks for itself) is enough to tell you it’s been commissioned or at least envisioned as part of some pre-approved, pre-planned project.
Street art is not limited to big cities as I have always thought. While visiting a friend in Den Bosch, a small town in the Netherlands, I noticed that some house have writings on their facades.
I assume it’s poetry because that’s what it looks like but it could also be a quote or a piece of the history of the house or some notable historical event that took place nearby. As I don’t speak Dutch, I can only guess. In any case, I have never seen anything like this anywhere else.
I did not see that in Amsterdam, either, so I wonder whether it’s something people do in den Bosch only or in the countryside at large. While browsing local shops I also saw this beautiful mosaic on the facade of a building in the town square.
There are some beautiful and surprising things gracing our streets but we don’t really notice them often enough. How about you – what do you see in your cities and towns, in the streets and alleyways, on the facades, on the doors and pavewalks?