Monday, 30 November 2009

Review, Part 2

Rod Palmer, “Street Art Chile”.

This publication takes you on a journey to discover a whole new and unique graffiti style as well as the exiting country of Chile itself. The reasons I decided to focus on the subject of South American street art is rather understandable: after discussing Banksy and British style and influences, I felt the need to compare and contrast those to something entirely different yet as engaging. Though out my experience with Chilean graffiti I was shocked, mesmerized and left thinking about issues I have not considered in depth before. It’s truly inspiring and ever since I discovered its power Chile, especially Santiago, made it to the top of my potential travel desires.

Firstly, I would like to mention briefly the initial Mexican influence on Chilean street art. It has been Mexico that encouraged the government of Chile to sponsor a series of propaganda murals to be painted in every state primary and secondary school of the country. After this project, that turned out to be satisfying to the authorities, a whole new movement of propaganda graffiti started. The competition between the two main candidates for president at the time "adored" the walls of the bigger cities of Chile.

Since when the political street art begun in the mid 1960s many new artists were born and Chilean art experienced a boom, which was only to be expected, as graffiti was one of the most exiting but also important means of expressing one’s political or moral believes. Nowadays, the influence and inspirations of modern day Chilean “graffiteros” changed its direction and focus on TV programs or music subcultures rather then criticism towards the polititians. Many cartoon characters, including Disneye's favourites are easily found though out the county depending on each region, with specific insensitivity in the capital. On the other hand, many of the graffiti crews try to popularise their preferable music style which is often westernised to a very high degree.

Piguan has to be named as one of my favourite local street artist. His bold and bright pieces seem to be influenced by European cubists as well as the classic artists of the Renaissance. What I like most about this artist is his choice of colour and imagery as well as the subject matters which in all their simplicity never fail to make an impression on the viewer. Freedom, love, sex and drunkenness are ones of his favourite subjects to spray about and all of those include an element of surrealism and fun that attracts the general public and encourages discussions. Text is one the very characteristic aspects of the artists work: his childlike lettering and a poor choice of vocabulary suggest a sense of carelessness and a certain type of grown up playfulness with compliments the visual imagery to a truly satisfying extent. Personally, I would recommend looking at his big city murals as well as the less known pieces form the downtown because it is only by studying the both that we are able to fully appreciate his unique style.

In my conclusion, I wish to underline the importance of graffiti in Chile. Its role seems to exceed what is commonly expected of street art. It breaks boundaries between art and politics, giving anyone a chance to fight for their own opinion and take part in the global argument. It makes Chileans feel included in the modern day discussions as well as it reminds of their country’s past.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Photoshop 2

This is much better! Another day of Photoshop/Illustrator work.

Monday, 23 November 2009


Today, we played about in the photoshop. This is the result...

Friday, 20 November 2009

Review, Part 1

The first book that I decided to talk about is entitled “Wall and Piece” and is created by one of my favourite artists, Banksy. The book consists of photographs of the author’s street art as well as examples of his studio work. Another vital element of this is the fact that, many revolutionary ideas and concepts the society usually rejects found a platform on which they could be freely discussed. Banksy gives us as his audience a chance to get to know him better for the person he is, rather then a graffiti artist/criminal he is known for.

Initially, when my interest in Banksy’s work was just starting, I did not realise how much attention he dedicates to issues of highest importance such as: making a stand against war, terrorism, racism, homophobia, holocaust and the consumptionist culture we leave in. This list could go on and on however it is best to focus actual example of his graffiti that illustrate the style and subject matter of the artist.

“Graffiti is not the lowest form of art”, this sentence is a part of the introduction to “Wall and Piece” and in my opinion, it proves why the book was published in the first place. The author is trying to convince the reader that graffiti has a purpose, a much bigger and deeper role then just vandalising private and public property. It is free for anyone to see, and furthermore no one makes any real profit from it. Maybe this is the factor that makes street art the most honest and accessible form of art, in general? I guess the answer to this question as well as many more unravels itself further into the process of analysing different forms of graffiti and classifying them into art and crime categories.

One of the issues highlighted by the author is the Broken Windows Theory. It’s hypothesis is rather easy to understand: small crime, just like graffiti, attracts and encourages more serious crimes to take place in that area which is quite shortly considered as deprived. The next step in the vicious cycle is the birth of new gangs that then spread into neighbouring areas making the entire part of the city dangerous. As a solution, the authorities of New York City decided to take a zero-tolerance attitude toward any kind of graffiti without ever looking back or reconsidering it’s potential artistic value.

As a example that goes totally against this theory I would like to present an extract from an email sent to Banksy:

“(…) I am writing to ask you to stop painting your things where we live. My brother and me were born here and have lived here all our lives but these days so many yuppies and students are moving here neither of us can afford to buy a house where we grew up anymore. Your graffiti is undoubtedly making those w****** think our area is cool.”

The quote above shows an impact that is quite opposite to the one that the authorities suspected to be true. This proves that every argument has two sides, therefore positive graffiti exists and has a considerable impact on our society. It is not always wrong to go against the rules, because sometimes the rules were established out of lack of knowledge or belief or both…

Top Jewellery Websites

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Torture Lecture

Today, I have been challenged with a making a decision that I knew was one of those that would potentially affect me and the way I look and perceive the World.

Some time ago, I got an email to my uni account informing about a lecture on the subject of torture by a Glasgow based GP specialising in that issue.

Fully aware of the impact of this might have on me, I managed to make it to the lecture and overcame my fear to listening or seeing something far, far, away from what I am used to. The biggest fear I faced was one of being devastated for the victims of torture, hating their prosecutors and doubting if the World that we live in is such a good place, after all.

All of those occurred. However, I felt guilt as well.

I still do and cannot believe I have never made enough effort to pay my respect to those people and do everything in my power to help end their suffering even if it was just by speaking out.

For anyone interested in volunteering please contact me or simply follow the organisation on twitter.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Banksy <3 Forever

3A - Graffiti: Art or Crime?

1. Grévy, F., (2008), Graffiti Paris, New York, Abrams

An adventure takes place on the streets of the French capital and it’s getting photographed too. The author and her father enjoyed searching and documenting the art of urban culture of graffiti. In this book the reader can find many examples of usual kinds of graffiti incorporated with posters, text joined up with images, animals and people fighting for their space on the walls of some of the city’s most deprived and therefore dangerous areas. Nonetheless, Parisian style of graffiti is almost poetic and it usually seems to be carrying some sort of a general message to the public. Still, it is considered of be one of the crimes of art.

2. Naar, J., (2007), The Birth of Graffiti, London, Prestel

A graffiti bible. Created by a photographer inspired by the exiting origins of graffiti in New York. The full face to graffiti as a crime is uncovered and it is not what you were expecting. Gang culture, youth crime, fighting racism, popularising the African American / White American division, stopping the war, etc. “The times were hard and writing on the walls and subway cars was a reaction of the conditions in which the writers and their civilian families lived” - this quote from the introduction to the book captures exactly why the graffiti started. It was just another way to protest against what people found unacceptable.

3. Reisser, M., DAIM, (2004), Mainaschaff, Publikat Verlags

This book demonstrates the new face of graffiti art by taking the reader, step by step, though the career of a German graffiti artist, Mirko Reisser. He chooses to push the boundaries and take graffiti into the 3D format. His clients include: Citroen, Philips Electronic, Siemens, Schwarzkopf, MTV, Levi’s, Adidas, Mars, Marlboro Cigarettes, West Cigarettes, Poster Network, SNCF. As a whole, this is an example of highest quality graffiti art which stays in touch with the basics but also keeps on developing and challenging the audience as well as the artist/maker.


A fabulous website illustrating the work of one of my favourite artists. A selection of Banksy’s indoor, as well as outdoor images with an option of downloading for non commercial usage. This represents the high end of the graffiti market and more broadly the high end of the art and design world as a whole. Banksy makes a statement with each one of his pieces, he touches very many controversial issues and crosses the boundaries of our culture’s taboos. Exactly what a true artist/designer should be involved in.


An example for an official government website. The City of Denver authorities took enough care to prepare a full plan of their fight against graffiti. They organised this part of the website into well structured data base of information on the subject. From the legal point of view, things seem to be rather straight forward - graffiti is considered to be an act of vandalism, therefore a crime that needs to be punished.


A Scotland orientated graffiti website. Full with photographs of Glasgow and Edinburgh murals. There is a good selection of links on it, some of those interesting, however other completely useless. Additionally, my attention was caught by a good reading list, consisting of graffiti orientated texts and books. One of the strongest aspects of this website is the fact that Denver citizens are given a chance to volunteer by joining a graffiti cleaning group and dedicating an evening to making sure their environment is up to a civilised (clean) standard.


A website that takes a more careful look at urban graffiti and makes it legal to fulfil this passion. An opportunity of workshops with professional graffiti artist is created by this group, as well as valuable information on how to get involved and how to contact the group. Many examples of their commissioned work are illustrated with good quality photographs along side a gallery of canvas graffiti.


A website dedicated to graffiti prevention. Gives many tips to the victims of the most popular type of property vandalism. Also this website gives a really good opportunity for anyone affected by graffiti to unite and form discussion groups or even start a neighbourhood watch organisation. Many additional links are to be found there, as well as advise on discouraging potential graffiti criminals, CCTV, cleaning products, specialist paints and professional removal methods.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Press Photographs

examples of life during World War 1

the fight against racism

the struggle against communism

the failure of technology, etc...


At today's lecture I experienced a revelation. Back in the World War 1 times, being a commercial artist was something to be ashamed of, sort of the lowest of the low art professions.

In these days, specialising in commercialism usually opens up many opportunities and gives a good chance of earning a little fortune. This is why, I was surprised by how much things have changed over a few decades....

As if the whole view on art and design has evolved onto a new, futuristic level. What used to be presented in science fiction movies is boring reality for our generation.

This touches all areas of our life and as an example I would like to use something as trivial and recent as Halloween fancy dress designed to explore the idea of futuristic fashion/events.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Hussein Chalayan

Thought my blog has to have some links and videos of my most favourite designer.

Hussein Chalayan.

Got introduced to his style quite some time ago however I felt like I really understood it during our visit to London earlier this year. The show that was on in the Design Museum was definitely the most enjoyable of all exhibitions I have seen in London at that time.

Hussein is a dream maker, he creates that special atmosphere I would love to get lost in. Looking at his art/design is closest to experiencing a state of spiritual high.

The alien beauty and the delicate feel of his fashion garments and the edginess of his installations and videos create an unforgettable momentum in your memory, that place you always want to go back to ...

Red Watch Online

Attention! Check out this appalling website and stand up against it with me :

On our seminar last week we discussed many interesting subjects and all of those had stronger or weaker connotations to the assignment given. We got divided into several groups and one of the issues mine considered was identity.

The administration of the website concerned dares to publish photos and names of anyone who's against the BNP. This is against the human rights and should be stopped as soon as possible. Also that party's comments show a shocking approach towards racism, immigration, homosexuality and democracy.

If you know how to voice your opinion effectively please do. And I would appreciate if you let me know.