Urban Walls Serve as Canvas for Visual Wonderment

Rick Poynor composes a photo essay that documents compelling street art found along his recent travels in Portugal and Spain. For Poyner, its not the wall-filling murals that interest him, but rather 'collectively composed street marking'.

"The street art that grabs me, if street art is even the right term, is much looser and messier than [wall-filling picturesaerosol graffiti, or 'sub-Banksy intervention']." says Poyner. "It’s less a resolved image with a clearly stated intention and definite physical boundaries, and more a sprawling, evolving process of layering and accretion. It’s often the work, over time, of multiple hands, most likely to be anonymous....The most seductive embellishments draw out and celebrate the vital texture of the streetscape and they don’t need to be big or commanding to do this." 

"For me, the pleasure of looking at this type of street communication or babbling urban unconscious (take your pick), wherever I happen to be, is closely connected to the pleasure of transforming it into a picture. If street artists and graffiti writers can appropriate parts of public space for their own purposes, then the itinerant viewer with a camera is just as free to appropriate their interventions, edit them, recompose them, find new possibilities in them, confer an alternative visual order, and turn the source material into self-contained images for equally personal purposes."

Full Story: The Incidental Pleasures of Street Art

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