The Parthenon, democracy, any song by Demis Roussos, this post about Athenian graffiti – one thing they all have in common is they never seem to get finished. Well here is part two, part one is either a little bit lower down the page or here.
Thanks to its intractable bureaucracy where even a simple house purchase requires the signature of a myriad of government officials and utility suppliers, religious leaders and acts of parliament, Athen’s crumbling ruins quite often collapse completely. The ghost building sites in these back streets provide a characteristic derelict ruggedness, the loose stone construction and failing flaking plaster enhances the charm of the sun faded art on the walls. And since no one cares enough to buff, the best and longest lasting art can be found here.
In the same back streets, one vacant plot had a single story glass mirrored, errrr don’t know what it was about, some kind of two-sides-of a-square concept, the effect was that you could stand in one spot and simultaneously check the graffiti on two opposite walls, how coooool is that!
b., Alexandros Vasmoulakis, plus (TBC) JNOR NDA
Despite being an ex-pat London dauber for several years, the mark of The Krah remains visible in many Athens locations. Boy has he come a long way geographically and technically. On this first pic, note how the Athenian tactile parking habit has worn a horizontal strip away.
For the benefit of anyone not aware – shame on you – of The Krah’s more recent London work:
JNOR NDA’s distressed figures deserve admiration, is the expression hang-dog or are they just falling short of the full 8 hours kip?
JNOR NDA, more here
Epic permissioned pieces seem to be few and far between, Alexandros Vasmoulakis is one of Athens’s more accomplished painters with a growing art reputation:
Though he can mix it up filthy, rough and ready when he wants to
Another painter who ranks among the best Street Artists is:
Pete, more here
Athen’s highways have three big plus features for this ancient civilisation’s street decorators, big walls, lots of eyeballs and again, no one cares so no real buff program. The highway walls tend to attract comparatively simple tags, nothing too wild.
The main road, well, particularly Syngrou Avenue is crossed by a number of subway tunnels and here the tagging does get a bit wilder.
Placement doesn’t have quite the significance to Athenian vandals as it does for street artists elsewhere. It’s a case of anywhere will do, though we love the exceptions!
Shutters don’t escape the Athenian public writer and there’s more than a just nod to UK’s Eine and Cept in a couple of compositions found
There doesn’t seem to be as much of the grandstand hall-of-fame type of spraycan showboating you might get in other cities but the effect is a much more hurly-burly rushed and pacey style, total in tune with Athen’s character. The Athenian graffiti writer’s natural enemy is not so much the authority as the loose flakiness of the wattle-and-daub which make up the facias and internal coatings of Athens buildings. The sooner the authorities act to improve the longevity and earthquake resistance of the skims the better for all vandals.
All the work above is pure freehand can work which dominates on Athenian shutters and walls. There fewer stencils to be found
Congratulations if you have made it this far, and if you have the stamina, you could check out the rather large set of photos from these two brief whizettes around Athens, perhaps do it in stages?
BIG BIG PROPS to The Krah for pinpointing where I should look and for taking the time to go through all my pictures and identifying culprits, he’s a diamond and an awesome artist to boot. Props also to Alex-The-Greek whose love for graffiti comes on in leaps and bounds and whose willingness to ignore traffic codes is clearly in the Greek DNA, and to his brother for loan of the scooter. Thanks also to Ryunosuke who also flicked through the pics and helped with identification, view Ryunosuke’s awesome photos here