Graffiti is increasingly part of our decor. Formerly perceived as outrages degrading our urban environment, they gradually acquired their titles of nobility. You could even say that most people, including myself, see them more and more as a real art form. Several cities around the world use graffiti artists who are gaining fame to adorn the neglected walls of their most neglected neighborhoods. Barely a few years ago, almost all of the graffiti artists came by night, on the run, having only the time necessary to leave their signature on the dark walls of the most ramshackle neighborhoods. Gradually, the initials changed to more detailed signatures, then these logos were seen coupled with drawings and in some cases with real works of art. Today, municipalities around the world have invited these artists to decorate their walls legally, transforming their worst neighborhoods into places sought after by tourists looking for this new art form. In fact, "Street art" or is to my knowledge one of the art forms to have evolved and to have taken its place most rapidly in recent years.
I myself have become a street art fanatic. I am looking for these districts decorated with bright colors and magnificent images which often lead to performance halls or small, friendly bistros. As a tourist, these neighborhoods have even become a selling point when a few years ago I would have systematically avoided them for the insecurity they inspired in me. Today, I rather like to stroll and slowly walk through each of these streets, happy to discover a pleasant surprise at each turn. On every street corner, I have the impression of meeting again, of finding a new treasure.
For a photographer in fact, these graffiti and this street art constitute an extraordinary gift. All these large-scale images, all these bright colors, all these fixed decors in front of which the inhabitants of the neighborhood parade constitute golden opportunities to add our personal touch to the scene and make it a wink that will take the form of an original photo. Our subject does not have to be the graffiti itself, although often the beauty and originality of the work would suffice in itself to create interest. The subject should rather be the life which unfolds around the work. This actually allows us to better tell the story we want to describe. Ideally, the work of the street photographer and that of the graffiti artist should complement each other. The ideal photo should celebrate integration, the communion of the two worlds that merge before our eyes. Street photography and street art therefore constitute in my opinion two complementary art forms.
In the field of street art, my favorites for the moment are:
I am sure that several other cities in the world have left magnificent works engraved on their walls. As a photographer I hope to have the chance to visit them one day. Do you have any for me?