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a basic visual bibleography to;

The Positive impact of Graffiti / Outdoor ArTs for its Community

Please Click on the Pictures to Enlarge, the web Links To explore & the videos to watch.

This is for a short talk (that has grow somewhat) I'm doing for Oxfork & the West Oxford Community Association as part of my artist recidency. With the aim to help create a more positive reaction to local/global 'Graffiti', which I'm trying to showcase in a new light. (If you are already a fan, hopefully you can discover something new). We should be embrassing & encouraging as art,

by the people for the people.


 In the grander scheme of things, its an expanding idea that I have been working and researching continually, on and off for a long while and probably will still keep an open eye on this glorious and ever evolving art form! So ignoring more small talk & introductions I'll jump straight into the subject matter... 

1. Can everything & anything be 'ART' ?

Hmmmmm? The way we can see & perceive whatever the subject matter that confronts us can be intrepreated in god knows how many ways. When I was younger I thought & still think, all the art waffle (in whatever field) can go on to far (maybe even here!), particularly gallery waffle, hand gestures included! However it does allow us to see & think of arts outside the door, making almost anything artistic, whether you love or hate it. (Plus to think what would art history be without all the talk? Another vast question for another time!). 


Which brings me to picture no. 1 'Artist's Shit'. You could pick any number of pieces, modern or otherwise to express that art can be everything. However Piero Manzoni's Artist’s Shit from 1961 is particularly splendid in expressing this notion. The Milanese produced 90 tins containting 30gr net of freshly produced product, he later wrote about his work;  


 'I should like all artists to sell their fingerprints, or else stage competitions to see who can draw the longest line or sell their shit in tins. The fingerprint is the only sign of the personality that can be accepted: if collectors want something intimate, really personal to the artist, there's the artist's own shit, that is really his.'



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Which is an interesting idea & there are a thousands of other art pieces like this. But at the end of the day its glorified shit in a tin, in a gallery, which somehow justifes it as art because its elavated on a plinth, so to speak. It doesn't improve anything other than proving that art & people can be fickle. Its crazy to think that tinned poo is worth its weight in gold! So perhaps if we stuck golden frames around anything it could elevate its status & value? Anything could become a golden canvas, even in the most ugly of places. 

2. The Positive impact of Graffiti / Outdoor ArTs for its community  

Anyway back to the point of all this, It would appear that Bristol is the place to be. That is because its has long been & still is producing the best Graffatti / outdoor art in the UK, Other cities might argue, Birmingham, Brighton, Glasgow and even that their London. Anyway, this title is definatly helped but by no means solely responsible by that art menace / mystery BANKSY! Love him or hate him, he and rest of the cities finest & a growing band of artists moving in to continue this modern bayeux tapestry.


All recently amalgamated with the 'SEE NO EVIL' event. From start to finish it is really stupendous! Its a simple but grand idea to tranform an area, by painting a bleak ugly area of construction. Which no doubts excists in some place in every city nationwide. Its a giant canvas to paint with works form the best homegrown and international talents in the world. It's a grand masterclass that has succeeded and should be continued & promoted. By its very nature this artform doesn't last but as an idea has room to endure.   

please Watch the video below to learn more;

" When we were younger we learn't from the older guys & now that we're older we're learning from the younger guys.
That's the beauty of art. You never stop learning, you never stop developing new ideas." 
When we were younger we learn't from the older guys & now that we're older we're learning from the younger guys.

TATs Crew

This is a huge achievment & the most recent example from the uk were talent, ideas and environment all come together to one epic event that should, and will continue to grow as it as always done. There is no reason why it shouldn't happen elsewere where the grey concrete landscapes need a good lick of paint. 


Its not like its an unheard of idea! But within the right location this works & its genre totally thrives. There's been ongoing changing of the guard, regarding how writers and artists have taken this to a higher level, not far from the underground scene but to a world wide web platform encompassing the classics, the cultures & most importantly the community...   

3. Five Exciting Artists Writers on the Global scene.

In this section I would like for you to discover & explore the work of the artists below. If you know of them already that's fantastic, hopefully they have created something new to enjoy. If not well I hope they will inspire you or at least arouse your intersest.  I have picked people from around the world who have taken advantageof  our modern age tool, the vast internet,  to exhibit there work in an exciting manner;  

IRONLAK - Modern day masters. 

Please Click on the TITLEs NAMEs to link to the be transported to web pages & explore the videos / photo's

Australia is famous for many things, this paint team should be at the top of that list. Ahead of their nation sports teams, outback animals or kylie monogue for that matter. THIS TEAM OWNs it. Producing modern Murals that are epic. The video below explains all.  Check out their webpage & youtube account for more work. (Plus I'm particually fond of their super smooth lines and caligraphy caps). 


JR - Pasting the people together. 

This French Photographer is not your average. Every generation has a selection of camera men & women who capture the world in stills that embodies & emcompasses that wow factor that captivates us all. JR is one those such people. Photographing the people, the real people, that make up the community, the country and the culture. His work in Paris, Palenstein, Brazil, Africa, Cuba & everywere else is more than just art. Blowing it up & then some, removing the need for a gallery to put across his point, the eyes of the world open up through his lense. His website is Brillant and easy to use. But below is his speech after winning the 2011 TED award well worth watching...

BLU - Creative, colossal & politically correct.

Its amazing what a tin of house paint can achieve. Emulsion / Gloss paint is a great way of covering a large area for a 1/3, maybe even an 1/8 of the price. The point is, its cheap. Blu uses this to his advantage. By making the coverage the main body of his work it allows him to paint big. And by painting big, he gets his unique style & messages across. Along with a passion for animation & global affairs it makes for great work, check it out and see what you think yourself...

MAD C - the new old school style.

So far in this not so short talk I have somewhat neglected the ladies. There's plenty to chose from, however, the very nature of graffiti is that its about the art, not about the sex of the person painting it. Swoon's foreword in 'Graffiti Woman' (Thames & Hudson / Nicholas Ganz) is particually clear on this;

"At one point I didn't think it mattered that I was a 'female in a male dominated field'. My chosen name wasn't 'Miss' anything, and my style, erupting of its own accord, didn't care to identify me as a skirt or trousers. Right? A non issue, let's move on."


Swoon wheatpasting is great illustrative work is well worth investigating. However the artist i'm picking here is Mad C. Germany has a long history his with art movements. Graffiti is one of these. Its fair to say that the German Capital has one of the strongest art scenes of the day. The city & the Berlin wall is a mecca for most painters & artists (MTO, is another artist german definatly worth checking out on Her work embraces the 70's new york train scene giants with the originals like DONI & PHARSE 2 but with a new lease of life. Now spreading her work onto canvas using her well honed skill in lines, layesr & fills. Personally I prefer her street work, she will always rock walls, check it out...

VHILs - Carving out the cracks in the wall. 


I, like many others, have discovered Alexender Farto AKA VHILs by simply stumbling into his totally unique styled carvings. I have followed his work ever since. He's bang on, and his work has huge scoop as his style continues to evolve, (his new endeavours on wooden doors are well worth a look). Like JR & BLU the subject matter is increasing, looking into the history of the people, at communities & cultures and what's effecting them. Whilst still maintaining the raw elements that Graffiti embodies. Although some hardline practioners may differ from this view I believe along with others that like Mr Farto & his ilk, we must strive forwards to see the bigger picture. Even if it means breaking down a few old walls!



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