About 2 weeks ago, I had seen ‘Make Tea Not War’ for the very first time and posted it on my Flickr stream. I proudly realised that I had a work of street art round the corner from where I live. Then the council came in with their tins of white paint.
The irony of painting over this Banksy is that the council are actually the ones defacing the art that the British public want to see. They have actually vandalised a very important part of British culture (the same fate occurred with Banksy’s famous maid stencil in Chalk Farm).
‘Make Tea Not War’ – 12th August 2010
‘White Paint Not Banksy’ 24th August 2010
Personally, street art is a crucial part of London. When Banksy collaborated with 39 artists and organised the “Cans Festival” in the Leake Street tunnel from 3-5th May 2008, thousands of visitors queued for over an hour to see this unique outdoor gallery. They produced street art; art that was painted onto the street or decaying walls, not meaningless graffiti.
Think of street art as a free face-lift for run down areas of the city. At the best of times, London’s architecture, weather and pavements are dreary. Street art is the glimpse of colour, the ray of light, the panache we so desperately need. So why take it away and replace it with something that would be at home in a prison cell?
What are your thoughts on street art? Do you think it is a good or bad thing?
To see my street art photos from the Leake Street exhibition, please click here.