As news broke of Banksy being arrested by the Met Police, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate post than this one. Although thankfully the story was a hoax, it reminded me of how grateful I was of Banksy himself, his political statements, and other graffiti artists. Until I realised it was a hoax, I found myself getting angrier by the minute as frustration over what I thought was evidence of misguided priorities and misuse of public funds were unraveling in the form of Banksy’s arrest. There is a huge debate about whether graffiti should be considered as art and preserved from being repeatedly white washed. Some would say that a piece of art is given value by how much people are willing to spend on purchasing it. With some of his works auctioning at Sotheby’s for well over £50K, Banksy must qualify as an artist above and beyond other more mainstream artists based on this formula. In addition, some local councils have adopted a more democratic approach to determining if graffiti is preservation worth by asking the public to vote on whether a certain wall art should be kept or not. Although I could sympathise with property owners who have been ‘vandalised’ and want to erase the evidence off of their walls, the thought that someone’s work and efforts are being painted over in white saddens me.
Luckily, most Londoners seem to have embraced graffiti as a form of urban art and areas such as Shoreditch and Notting Hill are blooming with wall murals and bursts of colours. Many specifically come to these areas to appreciate graffiti as an urban art form. This post came about on one such art appreciation day. As Nancy and I walked through the back streets of Notting Hill and Ladbroke Road, we stumbled upon a mews road bursting with this vivid blue mural. We instantaneously knew that this was the perfect back drop to capture Motel Rock’s playsuit featuring an autumn floral print which I was wearing. Art class had also taught me how opposite colours of the rainbow spectrum compliment each other and as a graffiti enthusiast, I am so pleased with the resulting shots.
Photographed by Nancy Gibbs.