(Love Rat by Banksy)
Grafitti keeps working its way into my life. It keeps popping up to say 'hullo'.
First it came in the form of Banksy. When I was about 24/25 years old my boyfriend of the time told me about some chap called Banksy whose prints (ok not quite graffiti as prints, but they stem from graffiti) he liked and how he'd bought some and he was going to sell them on ebay. He'd paid like £75 for a piece called Love Rat and he then went on to sell it for £500 later (not even the original guys! Just a print!). I didn't have any disposable income and I was timid so I let him get on with it. He amassed something like £10,000 through his efforts - I'm not kidding - and it was only just before the bubble broke and others cottoned on that I thought...hmm...maybe I should get involved... Opportunity to make some quick cash clearly missed.
And then Banksy was everywhere and I moved to Bristol and Banksy is from Bristol so the city has gone all graffiti lovin' in recent years - what I mean by that is the council is not painting over the graffiti, they are celebrating it and encouraging it. It equates to added tourism value now. And the Exit Through the Gift Shop video also helped with that also. So I was surrounded by it all the time.
And then I kind of got intrigued by toilet graffiti this summer when I was sitting on the loo in The Canteen in Stoke's Croft (Bristol again) and reading all the loved-up garble on the walls there...you can tell its clientele are on something other than beer because this stuff is verging on profound and poetic. There is definitely a lot of love on those girlie toilet walls. This will be another post that I have been meaning to do FOR AGES (like a year almost now).
I have two rather trivial things I'd like to do - blog posts/ a book on graffiti (mainly toilet) and blog posts/ a book on the worst souvenirs in the world (also coming soon to a blog near you...). So when I can and when I see enough of it I'll report back to you on my graffiti finds!
Having just returned from the city of concrete and graffiti, it is only fitting that I start this series following this with some Berlin beauties... See you in the next post xxx