Wednesday, April 16, 2014

As Greece Founders, Athens Becomes Graffiti Mecca

From the NYTimes:
Graffiti in Athens, as in other cities the world over, has flourished for decades. But in a country where the adversity of wars and military dictatorship already has shaped the national psyche, the five-year economic collapse has spawned a new burst of creative energy that has turned Athens into a contemporary mecca for street art in Europe.

Denounced as thuggish vandalism by some observers, but hailed by others as artistic and innovative, tags, bubble letters and stylized paint work long have blanketed this city’s walls, trains, cars, banks, kiosks, crumbling buildings — and even some ruins of the Acropolis. But in the past several years, the anguish of the times has increasingly crept into the elaborate stencil work and multitude of large, colorful murals found all over the city, as Greece’s throngs of unemployed and underemployed young people have ample time to express their malaise.
And a dentist has turned to graff:
Recently, under cover of darkness, a Greek dentist whose business has been all but wiped out by the crisis reached into a tote bag and grabbed a can of spray paint and a stencil he had cut in his spare time using a cavity drill. Stopping at a crumbling wall, he quickly painted an image not typically associated with his profession: a masked man hurling a firebomb.

“The middle class and the working class in Greece have been ruined,” said the dentist, who goes by the street handle Mapet, declining to give his real name. “My goal is to deliver social and political counterpropaganda, and make people think.”
Athens School of Fine Arts has courses in street painting.

No comments:

Post a Comment