When was the last time you stopped in front of a colourful wall and either took a selfie or asked someone to photograph you, then uploaded it straight to Instagram? It’s something I do all the time. I’m like a colourful wall magpie, I collect photos of myself in front of #Instawalls, wherever I am in the world, and though that desire in me is by no means fading, I am starting to feel a little guilty. Short of going on a street art tour and getting an understanding of the art and artists who created the street art, graffiti, mural, wall art in question, it’s nigh impossible to find out about the backdrop of where you’re standing and that’s so very sad.
I will happily pose in front of a wall and then later, though I know the location, know absolutely nothing about the art itself’…anyone else want to ‘fess up to the same ‘crime’? It does seem unfair. On social media we tag where outfits and accessories are from, events we’re at, hotels we stay in, people we meet…but street artists? It may be possible to see their tag, but how many of us take the time to look up who they are? It can happen so quickly. In galleries we buy a ticket so spend time looking a bit longer and reading the panels but street art we just spot it and share it to show we’re the cool person that found, it but we don’t stop to find out about it.
Maybe I am just writing this post about myself, maybe other people are the opposite of me and do make an effort to find out more about the ‘art on the street’, or perhaps you’ll read this and think actually I know what you mean. I’m not just referring to the artist being anonymous, but what about the story of the piece, why was it created and when?Does it matter if this information stays anonymous too?
Looking back through my photos (especially travel photos) throughout the year, so many are of me beside colourful walls. I love them, but I wish I knew more about them.
So I’m making an early new years resolution. I am no longer (from 2018!) going to see a beautiful wall and just pose in front of it. I’m going to be that person that takes time out to look up the artist’s tag, see if I can find something out about it and then share the photo. The evidence will be here on this blog and on my Instagram…and if it doesn’t happen please tell me off.
Image: Horaczko Photography