Saturday, 21 September 2013

Thinking over Street Art

Breaking Bad Graffiti in Manchester

Do you reckon this image? This is one of the two controversial murals Akse P.19 has made in Manchester: Two portraits of the main characters of Breaking Bad, an American series that goes deep into drug's business world. As the images has gone viral, we can say that this is a quite successful marketing campaign for the city, the neighbourhood and, of course, the author, so what's the problem?

Bristol Upfest
Bristol Upfest

Some of the neighbours think having Walker White and Hank Schrader related with Manchester's Northern Quarter is not so good, more if we take in count that in 2011 two men were arrested for running a crystal meth lab not too far.
But let's be honest, that relation between Northern Quarter and drugs is not new, indeed it's probably the reason the author or the promoter choose these faces for that spaces. These murals replacing the old graffiti walls can be considered, ironically, an attempt of changing the vision of the neighbourhood, a try for creating tourist spots in an already degraded area which could generate some movement.
Bansky Graffiti in Bristol
Bansky Graffiti in Bristol

This is not a new idea, using street art to boost a borough is something that some cities have been doing for years, with a relative small investment and huge results than, nowadays with a mobile in every pocket, could be even bigger.

The question is, how can we, as society, impulse street art if we still relate it with vandalism?

1 comment:

  1. Very good question... But I don´t know the answer. I just know Banksy is my favorite graffiti artist of all time and makes me feel and think through their art. I think artists like him are becoming more recognized and feared for his activism, of course. But there will still be marginalized artists. The art scene has always been controversial. Very good blog!