I have a fascination with street art, particularly the sort with an overt message, political or otherwise. Anyone who has seen any of Banksey’s work will know the sort of direct or absurd statement that appeals.
I used to work near the Houses of Parliament; everyday I’d walk along the River Thames next to Westminster Bridge, where a group of stencilled rats carrying a rocket launcher and TNT seemed ready to blow up Parliament. A Guy Fawkes-esuqe satire on the relationship people have with politicians for our times. Another stencilled rat I passed every day en route to the office carried a sign simply saying, Go Back to Bed – a radical message to London’s commuters.
Sometimes though, it is difficult to interpret the meaning of some street art. I’m not suggesting that this is up there with the mysteries of the pyramids or the Sphinx, but occasionally I find myself smiling about some bizarre spray-painted riddle. On my recent walk up to Highgate from Finsbury Park, I came across a good example of this amongst lots of other spray paint creations. The message read:
It was written on the top of a wall on a road bridge…and made me laugh.
Amongst the rest of the work, was a piece I took as a swipe at the gentrified people who live in Islington, a spray paint pig and a street art Jackson Pollock.