Art & Stuff Like That

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Ok, I lied. I said I had finished writing everything up from my USA tour, but there was one last thing I wanted to share. Everyone goes to New York and takes photographs of Times Square, Lady Liberty, Empire State, bridges & brownstones. I did the exact same, because all these things are so photogenic and exciting to see “in the flesh”. However getting to spend longer in the city, and working there, helped me discover a new side of New York that I’d never noticed before.

Prok Shop

New York is full of ghosts. Old shop fronts and vintage painted advertising stretching up towards the sky. In a city that’s so modern and bustling, I found it comforting to stumble across the odd piece of forgotten about history. The brilliant blogging belle Kate recently wrote about how important it is to look up when visiting a new city. Luckily (or unluckily) I’m one of life’s natural looker-uppers. I constantly stumble, trip and scitter my way around my London life, as I’ll be absorbed in some amazing tiling on a building or ornate stone gargoyle teetering over a rooftop. I am one of those annoying people who you end up rugby-tackling out of the way as I am so pre-occupied with gazing skywards. But up is where the secrets lie, the forgotten things and the treasures that go un-noticed by passing people glued to their iPhones or staring at their shoes.

Dresses

Pharmacy

Bicycle

My personal favourite, I wonder who last flew with “Sea Air” to Mexico?

Sea Air

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In my rebellious yoof I went through a spate of graffiti obsession. I got bored of seeing marker-scrawls on bus shelters and big silver chrome letters that got dreary and dull within days sitting on a grubby northern wall. I think my interest in it came less from wanting to be a bad ass and impress boys (although maybe a tiny bit of that!) and more from wanting to create something pretty on those old abandoned (legally dedicated for graffiti of course;]) walls. All my graffiti was pink and purple and garishly adorned in hearts and stars and daisies! And although I wasn’t exactly skilled, it was fun and I still look back on the photos and feel proud of my tiny forray into street art.

I even spread my new found graffiti lust far and wide, with my mum returning from a trip to Europe with lots of photos of various graffiti she’d spotted on her travels! I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall, and see peoples reactions to this smartly dressed mum-age lady taking photos of the local street art! She also was fully educated on knowing her dubs from her chromes from her tags from her pieces.

When I stumbled across the ‘A Love Letter For You’ project, it made me orange peel grin in a massive way. It combines becautiful artwork with heart warming messages. I just wish I lived in Philli to go check it out in 3D!

Love Letter is a project by Stephen Powers with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and as well as securing art & heritage funding for the project; they also have two corporate sponsors. It’s a huge step in making graffiti socially acceptable and respected as an incredibley skilled artform, definitely coming off the back of other such mainstream artists like Banksy and Fafi. Whatever your views on graffiti… I don’t think you can see these photos and not feel just a tiny bit ROMANTIC. They are a love letter to the entire city! So often graffiti is blamed for the destruction and dystopia of urban environments, this project completely turns that on its head. I would love to know some statistics on how many smiles, better days and nice behaviours these creations evoked amongst the residents there!

All images c/o A Love Letter For You and Check out the entire collection here!

Lets hope one day we get something similar in London.

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