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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Spotlight - Fleeting across the walls and billboards of our cities

This month Spotlight shines on street art.

‘Vhils’ creates large murals throughout the world, imprinting the memories of cities into their walls.  The works are about transformation of culture in an urban landscape that is always in flux, and showing that a city is its people, just as much as it is the changing bricks and mortar.  Vhils’ uses no paint or inks or paper or brushes….  Vhils scrapes away from what is already there. 
The images are scratched out of plaster and multi-layers of old paint on walls, and they are big.  The images are made by removing paint and plaster to leave a poignant image, the size of a house or warehouse.

‘Ox’, like many street artists, reacts to advertisements in public spaces.  Many street artists challenge the assumptions that only business art (advertisements) is acceptable in public spaces.  Ox changes public billboards to make them instead reflect the humour and dynamism of their surroundings.  

‘Aspire’ mainly paints birds, celebrating the vibrancy of nature, and subtly hinting at the relative fragility of colours and diversity.  By showing tropical birds there is a hint at how delicate their vast variety is.

A great resource to find out more is ‘The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti’ by Rafael Schacter, published by Aurum press.
   If you want to see some street art being made, try ‘Upfest’ one of the UK’s top street art festivals. Upfest is a street art festival in Bristol, Banksy’s starting place, and home to a very vibrant art scene.  The festival has 103 street artists.  It is on in Bristol in July.

Most of these artists’ works do not have titles.  The birds here by Aspire, have been titled “The Vagrants” from when the wall-piece was entered in a street art competition, and needed a title to be made up for it for the catalogue, but otherwise Aspire’s works, like those of Vhils and Ox, generally are made without titles or names.

If you know any great art websites or articles, why not share them here? Send your suggestions to - please not that this isn't for self-promotion!

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