Graffiti has long been considered environmental vandalism and I am not going to argue against that. Scrawling love notes onto a wall with a spray can does not add anything positive to the local environment and only encourages a further lack of respect from other vandal-wannabes.
However, when does graffiti become “street-art” and what exactly is the definition of street art ?
If you spend any time in Poland you will be sure to see graffiti and plenty of it. Unfortunately, most of it cannot be considered artistic and can be considered vandalism. Where Poland trumps the UK in terms of cleaner streets and less litter it sadly falls behind when it comes to the amount of graffiti. However, there’s been a steady increase in the quality of some of the graffiti appearing in Polish cities to such an extent that it isn’t really pushing the linguistic boundaries by describing it as art.
Much of the graffiti is linked to fans of sport, football in particular, and the blocky and colourful letters sprayed onto walls are not really my cup of tea. Thankfully, there is some real talent out there and some quite extraordinary work has started to appear on buildings and walls throughout Poland.
This striking design can be found in Warsaw and was painted to commemorate the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.
This scene can be found in Lodz and shows a young lady bathing in a murky pool of water.
I much prefer designs that are incorporated into the “canvas” and you will see better examples of this further down
Here you can see how the artist has incorporated the design into the shape of the buildings.
Although the litter beneath the subject’s tongue has been staged the impact of her tongue licking the ground is very striking.
In fact, the design itself could only be created by the unique nature of this environment.
The Spanish artist, Escif, painted this simple but effective mural in Katowice.
This one is probably my favourite.
A beautifully painted portrait of a girl dressed in a traditional Polish costume on her tip toes watering the real tree that is in front of the wall.
I love the simplicity and humour of this graffiti which can be found in Olsztyn