Graffiti is relatively new in Albania. It is done mostly for political, musical (mostly hip-hop) and "offensive" slogans, decorative art or just to satisfy the excitement and creativity of the so-called rebellious artists that do it.
Can these unconventional artistic practices play a participatory and critical role in the urban space?
If they are drawn or sprayed on facades and streets, do they violate these public properties?
Can they be used to encourage new behaviors and capacities in the public realm?
B. A recent project in one of the Brazilian favelas uses graffiti for uplifting messages. (via designboom)
Boa Mistura a spanish art collective composed of five self-described 'graffiti rockers', has organized a participatory urban art project in vila brâsilandia, one of the favelas in são paulo, brazil. the artists, whose name comes from the portuguese for 'buena mezcla' ('good mixture'), worked with residents to paint and reface the winding 'vecos' and 'vielas' of the favela with uplifting messages. viewed from the proper angle and distance, the works cause words like 'beleza' ('beauty') and 'orgulho' ('pride') to seemingly float in the passageway, thanks to an illusion effect based on the careful painting of stretched-out text in accordance with the 3D perspective.
(you can read the full article @ Balkan Insight)
“I don’t think there is a hip hop subculture in Albania. We don’t have a true ‘underground’ scene because we all are underground, and we’re not demanding changes,” he explains.
“Nero”, a 16-year-old graffiti artist from Tirana, has other motives. “Most of us write our names everywhere. I think graffiti consists in that - the fact that I can write my name everywhere. It’s an expression of my rebellion,” he says.
Sofia Kalo, an Albanian scholar in Massachusetts and an expert on Albanian contemporary art, is critical of the new phenomenon in Albania.“Most graffiti in Albania are just slogans,” she says.“Most of what graffiti writers do in Albania reflects the passivity that Albanians themselves show towards social injustice, abuse, suffering and corruption.”
So, is Painting Urbanism - Art, Architecture, or Vandalism?