01 March 2012

The writing's on the wall

We Are All Clowns Now, part of a series by CANVAZ
Camden Street, Dublin, 25th February
One of the interesting things to watch over the last few months has been the reaction of Dublin street artists to our current economic and political miasma.

The above piece is part of a series by CANVAZ of paste-ups entitled "We Are All Clowns Now", with five separate clowns appearing in multiple locations around the city, each clown representing one of the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief. Hopefully you will recognize these clowns (if not the grief) from a few of my recent posts, sad clowns in business suits so appropriately representing my own current malaise. The image above, pasted on a former Irish Nationwide office (now merged with the former Anglo Irish Bank as part of the new Irish Bank Resolution Corporation and costing the citizenry up to €90 billion over the next twenty years) represents Depression, and you can see more from the series here.

Writing about a different piece CANVAZ said "Politics is the default setting for street art. It's fun to play with spray paint. But it's hard to speak to people and say ideas. It's easy to throw up a Anarchy sign but what does that mean?"

Sad gorilla disillusioned with our current lack of real participatory Democracy.
Mount Pleasant Avenue, Dublin, 29th February
Yesterday in Rathmines the piece above appeared, painted/stenciled by another Dublin-based artist ADW. Back in October I attended his solo exhibition, Pricks and Mortar, the centerpiece of which was a Celtic Tiger striped cement mixer churning out concrete-block Monopoly money (one of which now serves as the world's largest door-stopper in our house). Before the exhibition he told the Irish Times that the “wreckage of the economic collapse” provides the backdrop to his work.

With so many derelict and abandoned sites around the NAMAland formerly known as Dublin, street art provides a dual function, reclaiming the city from the developer-lead disintegration of our urban habitat and inspiring the citizenry to their own acts of social and mental defiance.

Long may they continue.

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