I’m a fan of street art. I’m not talking about mindless tagging and vandalism of private property, although I’ll admit there’s a fine line between them. I do think it’s possible to distinguish between good and bad however, and what I look for is something that catches the eye, causes amusement, creates a feeling of whimsy or just makes you stop and pause unexpectedly. I guess I see the value it can add to some otherwise bland and somewhat desolate urban spaces.
By way of example I give you these paste-ups of 80s cult icon Mr T, which appeared recently around Kingston shops.
It can’t be denied that it’s a skillfully executed print, and the first glimpse I caught of his big strong face on the brick wall as I went past on the bus brought an instant smile to my face. I don’t know what the space invader in the laptop has to do with it, but it is also kind of cute.
I like how the theme has been carried over to a couple of locations and, discovering the image hidden on the slats of the metal fence as a walked by was an absolute joy. It takes a simple concept to a whole new level. This one is gone now, so I’m glad I got a picture of it when I did.
That’s the other thing I like about street art, it’s ephemeral by nature, especially paste-ups which eventually disintegrate to nothing. Like it or not, there’s always a feeling that I’ve been lucky to see it before it disappears.