Graffiti has come a long way in my lifetime. The only graffiti I can remember when I was growing up was not art, but the usual Dan 4 Tract 4eva sort of thing. In our small town there was a huge piece of writing that (and you won’t believe it given how short it is) was about 25 metres along. On a was adjacent to the back of the library. It, if I remember rightly, said something along the lines of ‘Sid an Nancy 4eva. Sid lives’ (to be fair there probably wasn’t the punctuation mid-sentence…..more punk-tuation - I just thought of that…doesn’t make it good I know, but..) obviously in tribute to Punk idol Sid Vicious and girlfriend/victim Nancy.
Nowadays, there is much more of the art about graffiti, and indeed some of the best make it into the Galleries anyway (yeah, I know the whole sell-out thing, but hey if I was playing at Stockport WMC and someone offered me a gig at the South Bank, I’d take it) – but best of all, just walking down the street can (if you’re lucky) become something akin to taking in a gallery.
Barcelona street artist Aryz is one of the hot names in street art. Another one of those annoyingly brilliant people who create images of people/characters and the like, much the same as everybody else, but make theirs somehow live and have a style all his own. His brightly coloured montages light up the streets of Barcelona, and increasingly the rest of the world as well. He’s not just working on walls now, he’s receiving commissions for fine art pieces, magazine covers and the inevitable commercial pieces. It’s east to see why – but for me his most striking, beautiful work are the huge wall pieces he has created. I don’t know if that’s just because I have no idea how he does it – creating something in scale that is so huge, or because it really is (as it looks to me) an incredible piece (or pieces) of large-scale art.
And it’s not just no-nothings like me who hold his art in such high regard. His peers across the world are as keen as everyone else to see what it is next this young Spaniard is going to do. Because, let’s face it, whatever it is, it’s likely to be incredible. Who care’s about Sid and Nancy when you’ve got Aryz.