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Published: December 5th 2014
I know pretty much nothing about the various paintings and other works of art in this blog entry. But I can still enjoy them
East End - London's largest Art Gallery
In September I, Ake, went to London over a weekend. A friend of mine celebrated his 40th birthday and as a birthday gift his wife had bought them tickets to London and arranged a whole program of activities there. One of the activities was a walking tour in East End, a walking tour focused on street art. This walking tour I was lucky enough to be able to join in on.
I'd like to start by pointing out that street art is not
the same as graffiti. Much of the art you can see on the photos in this blog entry is legal. The owners of the houses, walls and buildings have allowed the artists to use their structures as a canvas. Some of the art has even been commissioned, that is the owners have asked the artist to decorate his/her house.
Even though this blog entry is about street art and not about graffiti it doesn't feel right to avoid mentioning graffiti. So here at the start I'd like to say a few words about my view of graffiti. Much of the graffiti you
The street art is often painted in the same way as traditional art, not with spray cans as you might think they should be
can see in the cities I would classify as rubbish and vandalism, not art. A spray painted underground train or a tag on a concrete wall I most of the time find to be only ugly and destructive. I prefer a blank gray concrete wall before an ill made spray painted tag. But there is also good graffiti and the best graffiti is often better than the works of art you find in art galleries. That's when it is more appropriate to use the term street art instead.
It might be argued that graffiti and street art have similar origin. Some of the artists who make street art undoubtedly started their career by spray painting tags. But they went on from there and developed their skills and today they produce high quality art. The art I saw on the tour of East End was for the most part very interesting. Far more interesting than much of the art produced by well paid artists.
Some of the street art featured in this blog entry is put up illegally. But you will probably agree with me when I say that even those works can not be
Better than a gray wall
It is by far better than having a gray wall to look at
called vandalism. The art in East End, both the legal and the illegal, make the city more interesting. It would be a much duller place without it.
Finally, if you are only interested in art by Banksy I am afraid I'll have to make you disappointed. The guide pointed at a wall and said "this wall is the closest to a Banksy you will get on this tour. There used
to be a Banksy there but it has been removed". But please do look at the photos anyway. They are worth watching. There is plenty of great street art out there. Banksy is just one of many.
The piece made by Banksy had been removed and that is perfectly normal when it comes to street art. Traditional art can be around for hundreds or even thousands of years. Street art has a shorter life span and that is sort of part of the idea. An artist makes a painting on a wall and a year later someone paints it over and makes a new painting there.
I am not going to write much more because there is no need for that.
Illegal - but not vandalism
When a well made little sculpture like this sits on top of a traffic sign you can hardly call it vandalism even though it is put up without permission
The photos speak pretty well for themselves. Hope you enjoy it.
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