Lapse of time Part I

While I’ve been walking around New York these last 2 weeks and looking at what’s on the walls right now, I’ve been remembering some of the amazing art I was fortunate enough to see in previous years here. Here are some of the highlights from a visit here back in 2005:

Skewville

Claw

The London Police

'Crime Scene' by Leon Reid

A super-elegant tag...

Some of these pictures were taken on a walking tour organised by Marc and Sara Schiller, of Wooster Collective (these occasional walking tours must have introduced hundreds of people to the pleasures of street art in New York over the years).

My visit to New York in 2005  took place during a time when a great diversity of techniques in street art were being explored. Metal scupltures bolted to the sidewalk, the manipulation of street furniture, the layering of tags and stickers and wheatpastes and tiles in doorways, the development icons as tags – it felt like a really exciting time and place. I think that’s one of the important things about street art: it has the potential to render any streetscape more interesting, and the artists who work in the street are continually adapting their techniques to new places, new constraints, new possibilities. Sometimes the result is disappointing, sometimes it’s a bit meh, sometimes it’s just astounding. But the flux that street art creates, whatever the aesthetic success of the end result, means that the contours of the city (which go unnoticed by so many of its inhabitants) are repeatedly drawn in sharp relief, for those whose eyes are open to them.

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