Street art and graffiti – some people call it visual pollution. I enjoy it. This includes posters pasted up on hoardings and various city walls. Over the years I have done several drawings of this subject matter. In 2004 I had an exhibition at Fremantle Arts Centre in Western Australia called “Street Theatre” which looked at the grunge of urban town and city life around me.
“Heel!” was from a poster advertising the film ‘Secretary’. This poster had seen better days and was already creased, torn and taped over. I got a comment by a bemused spectator who was fascinated but said “You wouldn’t hang it in your house”. That comment stuck with me! It sold at the exhibition so not everybody agreed with the lady’s observation.
What I like about this subject matter is the randomness of it. The way images are spent, torn and pasted one on top of another results in an abstraction. I think about the limited life of events. In a short space of time the posters go from brand new with promises of wonderful happenings, to yesterday’s news. They quickly become worn out and forgotten…from expectation to rubbish.
I love Paris street art so last time I was there I looked for more but it seemed there had been a concerted effort to clean it up. ‘Rue du Chat qui Pêche’ which I had seen in 2012 had been painted over. Now it was just a blank wall. Street art is temporary at its source; however, when I draw, frame and exhibit my selections, the surreptitious artists’ visions become permanent.
My most recent street art drawing is “Once Upon a Wall”. The original street art is by Sobr however only the head and a bit of shoulder remain of his work. All the rest of my drawing shows layers of peeling paint on the wall.
“Still Life” doesn’t have any street art in the composition though it contains graffiti. However I include it on this page as the drawing celebrates this street scene as a piece of art in itself. It is what it is: the art of the street.
“Rebel Rebel” isn’t street art so much as a political poster, but in the dilapidated state I found it (and made a drawing from it) I put it into the street art genre. The poster is a product of Fédération Anarchiste.
“Cornered” is a drawing of street art I came across in Milan in November 2018.