Graffiti

In many areas of London the graffitti is simply unimaginative, unconscious and litter-like. It does nothing to fuel life. Then you walk through areas like Brixton and Shoreditch and are greeted by a wild creativity filling walls and spaces with inspirational beauty. No egos here; the artists are content with obscurity making their art that more special.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
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25 Responses to Graffiti

  1. Hariod Brawn says:

    I have always felt we’re too reluctant to paint our homes here in Britain. I don’t mean with street art – which I do very much appreciate – but simply solid colours, pastels, such as are used ubiquitously in Scandinavia. It wouldn’t work at all on old brick buildings, and obviously not on architecturally elegant stone buildings, but modern housing estates are so appalling aesthetically, with their uniformly machined and coloured brickwork. It’s been a very long time since I last visited Brixton, Don, though it sounds still very vibrant.

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    • Don says:

      Yes, I agree with you Hariod. I too love those Scandinavian scenes with their coloured houses. I see that colour is often expressed on the doors in the houses of the UK. Love the door colours, blue, green, even red although I believe there was a bit of a problem with the colour Red for doors.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Mary says:

    There is some street murals that is simply stunning, you found a beautiful one here Don. Graffiti for me is a kind of destruction, but tasteful murals can be story telling and incredibly imaginative with great beauty. This artist in your photograph has done an amazing job to take a drab industrial smokestack building and creating a beautiful spot with great flare.

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    • Don says:

      I also agree with you Mary. It can be destructive. But when they set aside places for people to express themselves, it becomes very constructive giving birth to forms of street-art which has a unique beauty about it. The painting in the photo is a prime example of this. It does exactly what you say Mary.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Dan Antion says:

    Great find Don. Sometimes the street art can be wonderful. This is a stunning bit of work.

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  4. nrhatch says:

    Around here, street murals (like your smokestack) are usually done by artists on commission . . . in full light of day with the blessing of the owner of the building.

    In contrast, graffiti is often hastily scribbled under cover of darkness and, as you note, lacks the artistry necessary for it to qualify as “street art.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don says:

      What I like in London, Nancy, is where certain areas are set aside for street art. People then have the freedom to express themselves in those spaces. One such well known place is in Shoreditch. The street art there is so good that nobody dares to simply paint in any way. A natural kind of standard is set by the art itself.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Love it. At first I thought it was Jimi – it’s very good and so high up. I wonder, how the artist managed it. ❤
    Diana xo

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  6. Val Boyko says:

    Its the difference between moonshine and a good malt whiskey. Intention, skill, appreciation and expression of our best?

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  7. I think when these artists do have permission to express their gift, it can be beautiful as you have discovered Don. It lights up any street view!

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Karen. I feel the same way. There’s a kind of orderliness in it, not overly so,but an order to the expression. I’d probably be shot down by artists for say that.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. For awhile, gang graffiti was big on the bridges and underpasses and the sides of buildings. Then cities all over Colorado too applications for painted graffiti “plans” to paint along park walls and the borders of waterways. These are amazing, and the individuals and former gang painters who painted these “murals” also patrol and watch over their creations. It’s a win-win…so far. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don says:

      What a great story, Marylin. Just a marvellous way of dealing with the wildness that often defaces things. Create space and encourage. Thanks Marylin.

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  9. Calvin S says:

    Grandiose graffiti !!! A tag is a tag but this is the work of a vision-conscience-artist. Most so called graffiti artists still work under the pseudonym of Vandal in the public eye. And to be honest much of it is crap. At least Don your able to visit areas of the city that shows some vitality. Not much graffiti here bouts, though the odd time a flock of gulls and or crows do a pretty good ‘Jackson Pollock’ tag. I was in New York City in the early ’80s when graffiti was at its highest in the Bronks and Harlem. It covered every inch of that which a hand could reach. I understood the reason for it then -a mark of desperation and a show of identity. The way things are developing in the world it could come back. But, it could come back with a good message. That we could use.

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    • Don says:

      I think you’re right Calvin, much of it is crap, but there are gems and it seems to be in those places set aside where it is encouraged. As I was saying to Nancy, when this happens, it seems to set its own standard. I had a good chuckle at your gulls and crows and Jackson Pollock. Did you live in Harlem Calvin? I once visited Harlem, quite a place. A bit scary in places, but we were with people who understood the context. Very memorable.

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      • Calvin S says:

        No, at that time, just bumming around the art scene , galleries and studios. And of course CBGB and other fine establishments. Harlem at that time I don’t recall finding it scary, in so much no one gave me trouble. Though it was not the tourist destination as it is now. There is always something interesting, even beautiful, in the worst of places.

        Your right though, it does help to be with someone that knows the lay of the land.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Kathy says:

    i was disappointed when I found graffiti while exploring a castle in Switzerland. I guess it had meaning for someone, but for me it was vandalism and it spoiled my treasured chocolate box picture. The discovery led to a discussion with my companions who were from a number of other countries, about the merits of graffiti and an acceptance of it as an art form. It was the beginning of my education! Recently my attention was drawn to street art in Johannesburg by a friend who posted a comment and picture on Face Book, as he walked to work at the High Court. The artist was not known.If you don’t know much about the Johannesburg Street Art, have a look at the links on Google and be amazed!

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    • Don says:

      I’ve seen some of it Kathy. Very good. I believe it can be a form of vandalism especially when it defaces buildings etc but as I was saying in response to other comments, there are constructive ways in dealing with it. Thanks Kathy.

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  11. ladyfi says:

    Wow – that really is magnificent!

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  12. loved your post! I just put up a short piece on the Denver street art Crush Festival, similar vibe to this!^. Feel free to check it out 🙂 https://youthsgonewonky.com/2016/09/25/crushin-on-rino/
    \

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