So you'll know I've been in the East End from my recent posts: Petticoat Lane & Brick Lane, Market Stalls and Boxpark, Shoreditch. Well today is my final post in this series and it's picture heavy, and of something I didn't really expect to like. I'm not normally a great lover of graffiti or street art, but I was fascinated by the amount, size and vibrancy of what I saw as I walked from Brick Lane towards Boxpark. And I wanted to share it with you too, so what better to include it in my first Love This post of the year.
I spotted these first few as I walked along Sclater Street, the tooth one above caught my eye - well to me they look like teeth, but maybe that's because I've had a tooth-kind of year so far with that cracked tooth earlier in the year! And then this one with its white border somehow giving itself billboard status. And while interested I wasn't hooked, just yet.
The colours of these next few though, if not the designs started to change my mind. And got me thinking - what's the difference between graffiti and street art? Wikipedia says:
- Graffiti is is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface, often in a public place. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and it has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.
Street art is visual art created in public locations, usually unsanctioned artwork executed outside of the context of traditional art venues. The term gained popularity during the graffiti art boom of the early 1980s and continues to be applied to subsequent incarnations.
So both appear in public places, one's usually unsanctioned while the other is illicit. Graffiti doesn't have to be visual but can be, but street art is most often visual. So there you have it, I think though each piece depends on the viewer. What might be street art to one, may be graffiti to others. What do I think - well, I think I'm sharing some graffiti and some very good street art in this post. Both work in this part of London and I was amazed at just how much, and how good some of it was.
The one below is quirky and fun and in the street art category for me, as well as being a memorable way to differentiate this business.
These letters too were impressive and I think are probably my favourites, although the bird further below is also a contender.
I said earlier that I was sharing what is for me a mixture of graffiti and street art in this post, for me this next photo is on the graffiti-side, there's elements of street art too but less so.
This one was interesting and completely different to anything else I saw - and I think that art should be added to more hoardings.
By now I was hooked, even if I didn't particularly like the street art I couldn't help but spot it and was weirdly drawn to it to photograph it. I've since discovered that there are street art walking tours you can take around the area if you want to make sure you see it all.
This is the bird that's a contender for my favourite (along with the PRO letters above) which I saw on the side of a cafe just a little further away, brilliant isn't it?
There were more that made me smile too, with well known brands and films also shown. And in a very short walk I felt like I'd had quite an education on something I never expected to find myself liking, let alone be fascinated by.
What are your views on graffiti vs street art, and which of the above is your favourite?