Brick Lane revisited

Along with a glut of candy coloured neon joy we also took a tour of some of London’s street art hot spots.

We take a quick turn around Wood Street in Walthamstowe before heading to my favourite art spotting haunt – Brick Lane.

We first visited around four years ago and it’s interesting to see how the area is changing.

While there is still a street art scene it doesn’t feel as vibrant or as strong as previously.

There are still colourful collages of stickers, paste ups and coloured paint to be found.

However the developers are moving in. Exclusive highrises are popping up and Costa coffee and designer burger joints are starting to encroach.

I have the feeling that the gradual gentrification of the area will sound a death knell for the street art scene. As the middle classes move in, so the artists move out.

It’s ironic that the very thing that has made the area so appealing to developers will be the victim of its own success.

But in the meantime there is still political satire to be found, musings on the surveillance state and statements to be made.

Key themes currently are the American political situation, Brexit and thoughts on the consumerism and commodification of the female form (or maybe I have overthought it)

Below are some cute paste up from the likes of Sub Dude London and Keef. Cuteness belies that biting messages that the work delivers.

Street art divides opinion, some people see it as vandalism and some see it as an open air, transient art gallery.

I think there’s a clear divide between what I personally class as “ART” ie pieces that exhibit actual skill or have a clever message to tell, and then just the mindless tagging of lazy aerosol wielding idiots. (who quite happily destroy other artists work)

Brick Lane has both in abundance and it’s a moveable feast. Pieces that appear and disappear almost overnight. Or are mutilated or transmogrified by human or natural interventions.

I almost love the weathered, old pieces the best. The ones that have been left to sink or swim by their creators. To claim their own transient place in the world – just like us.

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