Making graffiti is like playing the guitar. It’s very easy to pick up and do very, very badly. Getting it right and creating something that people might find pleasant to the eye takes a lot of skill and practice. I discovered this for myself when that damned elusive DocoBanksy lured me down to the free-spray zone at Leake Street, near Waterloo, to do a bit of promo work for his film.
Turns out he had a much more realistic idea of his skill level and the likely end result than I did.
Continue reading Paint Under Skin: On Becoming A Graffiti Artist
Leake Street in Lambeth is for the most part a pedestrian access tunnel that runs under the old international hanger at Waterloo Station. It used to be a dank, grim and depressing place. Until, in 2008, the Cans Festival was held there. In conjunction with a ton of high profile graffiti artists, Leake Street become a free expression zone – a safe place for writers to show what they could do without fear of prosecution. It’s a showcase for world class freestyle work.
The rate of change at Leake Street is frantic. New work is thrown up almost daily, over the top of what’s already there. So if you see something you like you’d better have a camera on you. It’ll be gone the next time you show up. The tang of volatiles from spray cans is always thick in the air. Leake Street is a heady, dizzying place, and I make a point of visiting whenever I’m in the Waterloo area. If you’re at all interested in street art, you should check it out.
You can view my latest Flickr set of the art in the tunnels here.