Sunday, August 14, 2011

Athens Greece Street Art

Love it or Hate it... It is ART.  

Recently I spent an exhilarating day immersing my self in the underground world of the Athens Greece graffiti. I ran around the city with one of the underground world's well known "writers" and learned all about the culture, the psyche of the "writers", the different graffiti styles, and the strategy used to do the big pieces and to tag trains.  

Since my days living in Venice Beach California, I have always been drawn to graffiti. The colors, the styles and the mystery of how it takes place. That curiosity found my self wandering the streets of Athens mesmerized by all of the graffiti. I stumbled on a "graffiti shop". A shop that supplies high end spray paints and supplies to the street artists. After convincing the store owner that I was not a cop, and that I wanted to learn more about the graffiti world in Athens. He agreed to introduce me the following morning to the hottest young graffiti artist in town, Asod.

Together Asod and I walked, ran, rode buses and trains and weaved in and out of ghetto neighborhoods looking at graffiti. The whole time he would be telling me about the various artists, crews, styles etc. One of the most interesting stories was how they disable the train systems electric to shut it down for a few minutes to do a piece. In the same story he shared that one of his mates died last month being run over by a train because he did no stop painting in time as the train started up again.

 The graffiti in Athens is sometimes dark and sends a strong message of the current situation in the city. One difference between a "normal" artist and a street "writer" is that a normal artist may work on a piece for weeks in the secure comfort of the studio. A street writer averages 5 minutes or less on a piece with the threat of being caught at any moment and going to jail, or get run over by a train. This is the buzz for the street "writers"...

Enjoy the photos.... Love it or hate is ART!

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