Street artwork displayed in Athens is fond of references to key art, science, history or sport figures. I met Einstein many times, and even Dali in a corner. Humour-full, it likes revisiting iconic pieces of visual art.
Street art likes creating parallel worlds; pedestrians in Athens are wary of threatening creatures or warriors from other galaxies. Luckily, angels watch also for your safety.
There is one place in town, where I spent hours to discover the multiple facets of a major piece of street art. The artist remains unknown to me, but made no mystery of his/her fondness, his/her love for bikes. Bikes in all forms, mostly beyond conventional imagery, bikes resisting or even repelling the concrete of the modern towns. What a moving advocacy for soft urban mobility…
Soon again, I was dragged into historical references of Antique Greece and a fascinating world of fantasy.
Street art represents all together a creative act, an expression of freedom of expression, a powerful vector to reach out large audiences, and sometimes a possible form of vandalism.
In recent years, street art has become not only common in urban settings but also increasingly socially appreciated, and even used commercially. It remains that it often trespasses the legal boundaries related to the respect of public or private property.
To me, street art represents a major form of artistic expression, a cristalline mirror of society, and a powerful catalyst for societal changes. I trust that we will spare space for quality street artwork in our cities for the decades to come.
Love from Athens,
© 2021 Coups d'oeil et Coups de plume