Reflection on graffiti

cropped-bham_canal_graffiti.jpg

I’ve been using this as a kind of brand image for some time now.  I liked it for a number of reasons. First, it’s urban street art, which always seems to sum up the gritty feel of my writing. Second, it’s in Birmingham, which is where most of my stuff is set. And third, it looks like a Pink Floyd album cover, and we all know how I feel about them!

I first stumbled across the picture in the wilds of the internet, while searching for something else (as you do). It was being used as a header by the Birmingham Updates account on Twitter, and a bit of judicious digging showed that the photo was taken by Harrison Cantel. Other than that, I knew virtually nothing about it. Until this morning.

Searching for the original picture again in order to set it as wallpaper on my phone, I came across a slightly different version, on Pinterest, with a bit more information. It seems the original artwork is by Lucy McLauchlan, a contemporary artist specialising in large-scale, mostly-monochrome murals. I’ve seen her work before and loved it – these rather amazing birds on the sides of the old Birmingham library before it (and the art) was bulldozed.

800px-Lucy-Mclauchlan-Birds-Birmingham-Central-Library-2010

If you head to Lucy’s website and click on ‘selected works’ and then ‘murals’, you’ll see the canal artwork along with many similar pieces on the walls of houses and factories across Birmingham, the UK and even Europe.

As for the canal art location, this is also in Birmingham. Specifically, under a bridge on the Digbeth Branch Canal, a short stretch linking two other canals on the eastern side of the city centre. Completed in 1799, it has six locks and a banana warehouse (!) and lies within the Warwick Bar conservation area which includes a variety of listed canal buildings. I’ve never visited this particular spot before but it looks fascinating and I’m adding it to the list for the next time I go to Birmingham. Who knows, I might even get my own photo of the image I’ve been using for so long!

And thanks to Bethany R on Pinterest for pointing me in the right direction.

Advertisements

Shiny new website

cropped-bham_canal_graffiti.jpg

Dashing in to let everyone know that I’ve just updated my website with a new design which will hopefully be clearer and easier to use.

I’ve also fixed a few broken links, taken down details of one short story that had mysteriously disappeared, and added another that I’d somehow forgotten to list. I seem to have more short stories available to read than I’d ever realised!

Do pop along and have a look: tessmakovesky.com.

The artwork is, of course, still the same image I had on the old site. It’s a picture (taken by Harrison Cantel) of some amazing street art on one of Birmingham’s many canals. I liked it because it reminded me of a Pink Floyd album cover!

 

 

Arse or elbow?

I hesitate to suggest that the good people of New York don’t know one from t’other, but they do seem to have let an incredible opportunity slip.

The other day, as part of street artist Banksy’s month-long residency in the city, prints of his artwork were being sold from a stall in Central Park – for only $60 each. This is amazing value. Not only are Banksy artworks as rare as hen’s teeth, but when they do appear they’re worth several thousand pounds each, and have been known to sell at auction for up to £20,000. So to own one at all, let alone for such a low price, is… well, unheard of.

And clearly the New Yorkers didn’t hear, because only eight prints sold all day, before the stall-holder shut up shop and went home.

All I can say is, some of the folks who missed out must be kicking themselves long and hard. And please Mr Banksy, sir, can you sell your work for the equivalent of $60 in the far north of England, please? Soon? I bet you sell more than eight. And I’ll be the first in line.

My kind of art

I just love the sheer affrontery and tongue-in-cheek wickedness of this, the latest street art from Banksy, who’s currently completing a short ‘residency’ in New York:

_70222444_banksy

It’s the sort of thing you either get or you don’t, you either love or hate. Me, I love it. Love the grit, love the feeling of ‘cocking a snook’ at authority, love the simple cleverness of it all.

Apparently the artwork has already been painted over, which is a crime in itself. Perhaps the authorities in New York need a sense-of-humour transplant… Or a short sharp lesson in how valuable Banksy’s work can be.