Oct 20, 2008

Graffitti at its right place

London's newest 'art exhibition' in an underpass at Waterloo train station. Graffiti is illegal in the city under property damage laws, but this area has been Government-sanctioned for 'artists' to express themselves. Many of the exhibits are inspired by famous art pieces, such as this interpretation of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel fresco.Graffiti first become prominent in America during the 1960s and was carried out by political activists. Opinion is divided about whether the spray-painted works are art or an eyesore.
'Artists' use canister of spray paint, often using different colours to create a layered effect. This work has been created using a stencil.The exhibition has turned a once-disused underpass into an exhibition, with every space being used for artistic expression. This includes the walls, ceilings, railings and even these disused cars.
Works are often detailed and carry a 'tag' or signature by the artist.What at first glance looks like the site of a car accident is actually part of the exhibition.
A man shelters from the London rain, amid the works of 'art'. Every square inch of available space has been used to create the spray-painted motifs.Graffiti 'artists' can spend hours creating their images, sometimes incorporating a lot of detail.
It is a non-permanent form of 'art', which quickly becomes covered with other 'artists'' work.Sanctioned works such as these indicate that the form is becoming more acceptable, if carried out in permissible areas.
While some accept the art form, removing graffiti has long been used as a punishment imposed by respective council bodies. Sometimes, graffiti artists themselves are ordered to remove their work.Early forms of graffiti can be found on the walls of Pompeii, the bases of ancient Greek vases and in the catacombs of Rome. The preserved graffiti at Pompeii gives an insight into how people lived during the first century.
Some even believe that Paleolithic rock artworks are the first examples of graffiti, as people have been etching and painting on surfaces since 30,000 BC.

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