Saturday, 29 June 2013

Public art?

To be honest I have not really been that interested in graffiti until the Tate modern had that extraordinary exhibition on the outside of the building. At well over a hundred feet high you couldn't really miss them. Before that, like most people, I was blind to it to a certain extent as I walked the streets of towns and cities across the country. What I did notice after viewing these wonderful drawings is the proliferation of tagging which in my view is a blight on the built up environment. If you are going to do it make it interesting otherwise save the paint.

The other day I had my arm gently twisted to purchase a copy of Wall and Piece by Banksy forcing my interest in graffiti to another level. His book is more a picture book than a read. One of the things I picked up from the photo's in the book apart from his sense of humour, is that we still walk around with our eyes wide shut even though picture taking is at epidemic proportions. On a subsequent visit to another book shop I checked out the art section to see if there were any other books on graffiti and there are quite a few. Leafing through some of them they also depict some wonderful public art. I know! a lot of people think it degrades the neighbourhood, but done well I think it lifts it, maybe it is time to make spaces where it is legal for anybody to post.

What's this got to do with photography? Quite a lot. It is about keeping your eyes open to picture opportunity even if you walk the same streets every day. It has happened to me on a number of occasions where a set of circumstances falls into place, opening my eyes to a composition that I have been blind to in the past. It is a strange sensation to think I have walked this way over the years and this is the first time I have really seen this view. I suspect this happens to all of us from time to time.

Graffiti what are your thoughts?