While on my drawing course at Tate Liverpool, one painting in the gallery caught my eye from the outset. It’s a work by the Swiss artist, Dieter Roth.
Apart from its bold use of colour, the painting uses a range of materials and artefacts and the artist’s face is there to see if you look closely, too.
Not the sort of artwork I might have expected to have liked in the past, but it’s definitely got a force field all of its own that draws me back even now.
If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I’m fascinated by graffiti in its many different forms. I’ve recently returned from a holiday in the Murcia region of Spain and have now got ample material for several posts on this subject.
This piece really took my breath away. It was tucked away down a quiet street in Cartagena and reminded me for all the world of a graffiti diagram of the heart complete with all its valves in glorious vivid colour. Needless to say, it was more likely a graffiti artist’s signature as is so often the case.
Much less colour in this second piece also from Cartagena. This time it was painted on a wall on the main tree-lined avenue through the city. No less powerful or dramatic for it’s limited use of colour. In fact, you might say it illustrates the adage that less is more.
The bright blue of a scorching summer’s day in southern Spain is clearly visible at the top of the first two images, and the clear Mediterranean light definitely adds to the power of the pieces. This final piece has no sign of the blue sky anywhere to be seen but is nonetheless one of the most interesting and original pieces I think I’ve ever seen. Surreal and thought provoking – I have no idea what it was meant to represent, but is clearly a very different piece with a cryptic message all of it’s own.
John Lennon was an artist, studying at the Liverpool College of Art, as he began his journey to fame. Then later, the Beatle shared his drawings with the world. Here’s John and his fellow Beatles, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr just off Princes Road in Liverpool.
The area is full of very grand and imposing properties, many of which are being restored, but this is Toxteth, Liverpool 8, and it’s an area still hit hard by social deprivation.
This vibrant piece of graffiti hangs at a jaunty angle over the railings on the corner of Upper Hill Street. The signature penguin can be seen all around Liverpool.
Doubt whether Liverpool’s wealthy shipping merchants could have foreseen their neighbourhood being transformed into an al fresco art gallery. This piece of graffiti was hanging on the opposite side of Upper Hill Street to the penguin.
At the end of the street, the early evening sunlight lit this piece of graffiti and gave it a warm quality. All these pieces of graffiti within a few hundred yards of each other by the way. Must find out more about the penguin!
Been fascinated by the graffiti that can surprise you along an otherwise ordinary street. Endless designs and colours, not to mention the care and ingenuity shown.
The context is always interesting, too, such as the the way the colour in the graffiti and the advertising banner match. And as for that tastefully arranged plant in the guttering, well …
These two, within a few hundred yards of each other on a London street, reminded me of the American artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat.