Despite my steadily advancing years — ok, so I’m not that old yet, in reality — I must confess I’ve got a real thing about street art. When it’s done well, that is. Yup, I’m a big fan, even though I haven’t the slightest clue about the subculture that drives it all.
To my mind, street art is like ground-level guerrilla art. Simply put, it’s art not ‘fit” to hang in any gallery. And, as the writer of a subversive novel, it’s probably not all that surprising I should therefore feel a certain kinship with those unsung poets of the urban landscape who use stencils and spray-cans to question the status quo.
At its most basic, the work of street artists is a form of anti-branding. In a world awash with corporate logos and the like, street art expresses a vision of dissent. However, on another level again, I would argue street art at its best can rival anything the established art-world has to offer. Basquiat being the obvious poster-child of the street artist as artistic genius.
So, anyway, while I was out walking through my own patch of urban jungle today, I happened upon a virtual treasure trove of sticker art hidden away in an alley doorway (see pics below). At a distance, as you can see from the first shot, it didn’t look like anything much to look at. But upon closer inspection, it soon became obvious each piece was worthy of closer scrutiny. My personal favorite is the Allen Ginsberg portrait with accompanying quote lifted from his poetical magnum opus, Howl. Having said that, the sticker that depicts an Ophelia-esque damsel in distress is quite haunting, too.
But don’t take my word for it. Have a look for yourselves, and let me know what you think.