Anyone that has taken the time to read my previous blogs will know that there is always a danger of me going off track and being distracting from my main topic.
Ordinarily I catch myself and rein it in before the point of the post is lost.
This brief intro is being typed post blog. Why? Because I sat down to write about my 100 candid strangers project and I have gone way off course.
This happened because of some graffiti I spotted while out and about. Its only a short blog and because it relates to my London of the 80s and is very much related to what I see around me today in 2014, I am going to leave my post as it is.
The last couple of weeks have seen the news papers and some TV channels run a story about a graffiti artist called King Robbo. I know nothing of the man but am informed by a friend (Nikki Daly) who had some contact with him that he was a decent fella.
News reports say he was a giant of a man at 6’7” tall. If this is true he’d certainly tower over me. I’m informed that King Robbo (Mr. John Robertson) had been around for a long time as a graffiti artist and ended up having some long standing dispute with an artist that perhaps more of the general public, not knowledgable in graffiti, may most likely have heard of; Banksy.
This was covered by the British TV channel 4 in a program called Graffiti Wars. I’ve not seen it. Yet!
This weekend however [Thank you Nikki for details of this program] I will set some time aside to watch it.
While out looking to get some images for my 100 candid strangers project I ended up walking through Leake Street.
This is a legal graffiti tunnel and is also known by some as The Banksy Tunnel.
Its therefore fitting that there was some memorial writing on the walls.
People will have varying views on graffiti, I think some of it can be very very well done. There are some very talented artists out there and they come from all walks of life.
Graffiti can be stupidly funny, it can evoke an emotion, prompt a political opinion, it can be satirical and extremely witty. Personally I wouldn’t want to see it everywhere. That said, under the right circumstances it has its place and I don’t mean confined to places such as Leake Street.
I wonder what now for Banksy & Team Robbo?
Please note, I do not know who the graffiti artists are, it is not my work, if it is yours and you want to take credit, please simply add a link taking the reader to your work.
I can not clarify any details in the links. They are in the public domain, if there are any errors please take this up with the host of the original post.
For images of graffiti from someone who knows what they are looking at please see Graffiti Junkie on flickr.
Jim Jimmy James
This is an update: When I wrote this part of my blog I didn’t really know much about what had gone on. I really know very little about the ins and outs of graffiti. A very dear school friend of mine that died when we were seventeen (knife crime isn’t new!) might well have taken the path of a graffiti artist. After watching the documentary, I think if he were around today he would be on side with Team Robbo.
Do watch the documentary I’m sure it will open your eyes. Its a very tragic story.
Always in two minds about ‘wall art’ Jimmy. Don’t like tags, or despoiling of old buildings and good architecture. However, I can remember some really good stuff around the Portobello Market area, and Bansky makes great political points with his work. Good theme mate, could be one to explore further..
Best wishes, Pete.