Thursday, June 26, 2008

Greece: Graffiti

I found Athens to be a very compelling city, at once both modern and ancient. One very noticeable visual aspect of Athens was graffiti. It seemed to be everywhere, including on many public municipal buildings. Interestingly, some of the earliest examples of graffiti known were found in Ancient Greece. Most of the graffiti I saw was scrawled letters and looked like unwanted vandalism. However, there were several examples of graffiti art that was quite impressive. In fact, I saw for the first time two examples of mixed media graffiti, clearly by the same artist. Unique and creative, it is one of those ideas that seems obvious now but I have never seen it before. Has anybody else? Here are photos of several pieces, with close-up details included as well. Click to enlarge to really see the mixed media details.








While graffiti is certainly controversial, I definitely admire the more artistic examples and recently posted samples I have seen in New York City. You can read a very interesting discussion about this issue on Deryn Mentock's blog here. Below are some examples I saw in Athens.














Do you think Keith Haring was in Athens?



For those of you who would like to try you own hand at graffiti art without breaking the law, go to Graffiti Playdo. The site can be addicting.

11 comments:

eb said...

love the look of this mixed media graffiti...

working my way back trough your marvelous trip...

fabulous images

xox - eb.

Stephanie said...

What a trip you had...I have been reading you past posts and vicariously experiencing the place with you.

The graffiti doors! Fantastic stuff!

azirca said...

What stunning graffiti. The use of material on the first set is so neat!

Hmmm, it does appear that Keith Haring spent some time in Athens.

Gillian McMurray said...

Those are some great pieces. I hope at least some of the srtists go on to make a living out of it. London & Edinburgh have some great examples too. There is even some 18th & 19th century graffiti in the old stables near me. I guess the need to create, regardless of the motive, is part of the human condition.

Judy said...

Wow!
Love the 2nd image - glad it was such a great trip!

notmassproduced said...

thank you for lifting my spirits today - i totally love the mixed media graffiti. I've seen lots of illustration textiles etc in a similar style but never graffiti. Thank you for sharing :o)

Terry Rafferty said...

Where is the line between vandalism and graffiti, between graffiti and art? These mixed media pieces are incredible and make me stop and think about why we insist on enshrining art in galleries and museums; about why we question the validity of art that isn't given the "official" approval stamps.
I'm so glad you shared these, and the closeups are invaluable!

mcdc3s said...

I find graffiti to be fascinating. You really hit the mother lode with these shots. What a great collection. Compiling all the graffiti pieces together.. you would have quite a nice coffee table book... a ooak!

Chris said...

How COOL! I LOVE graffiti and street art!! These photos are fabulous.

swatkins said...

I saw many of the graffiti artworks when I was there. I took pictures of many, and printed them as 13"x18" posters. They are one of the most poignant reminders of my visit to Athens.

swatkins said...

Here's a nice link and book...
http://www.athensguide.com/art/graffiti/