Thursday, July 3, 2008

It's All Greek To Me: Athens Pt 1

Over many years as London’s ambassador to Athen’s tavernas and bars, I have had the pleasure of observing quite a large amount of graffti, regrettably nearly always from the windows of taxis (when Athens taxis are moving it’s best to keep your eyes closed, thankfully they also spend a lot of time stationary). On my most recent visit at the beginning of June (08) I managed to carve out a few hours from my lotus eating schedule to jump on the back of a Vespa driven by my friend Alex-The-Greek and tour around creating havoc on the streets (and pavements) and photograph Greek graff.

unknown – indecipherable tag

Aided by an Athens map embellished by a bunch of loose fluid tentacle strokes courtesy of The Krah, it proved easy to locate several deep warrens of single track back streets, alley ways and bazaars crammed full of spray work.

Athens is sliced, diced and surrounded by a network of pedestrian-hostile highways, the deep walls holding back the embankments have proved an irresistible canvas for taggers and artists who generally need not fear passing foot traffic.

Captain Hook

I’d been seeing lots of swarms of evil grinning bees along most of these main routes, some of them even had psychedelic don’t mess with me colours.

I had for some reason decided that these bees must be by Athens artist b., who has graced quite a few London walls over the past year or so. I was so wrong. In his natural habitat, this is b.

b., Norjin

And these,

b., Hit

b. and ?

And for good measure there is a lot more b. here

(where The Krah has helped with identification, that is 100% accurate; some of the attributions are my guess and may well be wrong – apologies in advance).

One artist whose stuff I have admired on flikr but never actually seen in real life is Joad. Her pieces proved to be a bit more elusive that I had hoped but the few I found were treasures.



Actually, I had come across a Joad last Autumn near the hotel I usually stay at, un-expectedly it was a plain but crisp block but look closely and the trademark whisoy lines are present.

Joad, more here

EDIT: Joad has kindly pointed out below that the middle pic there isn't her. I think I meant to put up the piece Joad mentions in her comment - its a beauty:

The second installment of this Greek adventure will follow in a few days or so but if you can't wait or simply can't take any more words, then by all means just take a look at the pictures here.

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