Street Art Aberdeen!

2017 is the year that street art came to town! We we're treated in 2016 by UV ARTS and their 'Release the Pressure' festival which brought an incredible array of top graffiti writers and artists from across Europe and Painted Doors has helped get artists out of the studio and onto the streets and Nuart has put Aberdeen on the street art world map. But what about all the graffiti and street art that came before and who's putting up work on the streets now?

Well I'm hoping Street Art Aberdeen can help answer both questions. For the past 10 years and a bit before that I've been documenting graffiti and tags in the granite city along with numerous street art projects from artists like Craig Barrowman and of course my own adventures with stencils and spray paint. Although less active the past few years I've still been snapping away and despite having the blog as a focal point many of my pictures have sat on hard drives unseen. This was a conscious decision as I never wanted mood of collapse to be a graffiti or street art blog but also I didn't have access to the stories behind the tags and throw ups. And I don't think you necessarily need to but I want to look at the authentic experience, what drives people like Slave and Devo to paint, the adventures they've had and the unique history that goes with it. What connects 1970's New York street kids with graffers in Aberdeen in 2017? I also want to try and unpack some of the nuances of what is graffiti, what is street art and where do they cross over.

There's a lot of questions and I certainly don't have all the answers but its something to investigate. After all anyone can start an instagram account, photograph a bunch of tags and hash tag the hell out of it but I want to join the dots, connecting the artwork to the artists (where it wont get them into trouble). Despite Nuart making Aberdeen a graffiti friendly city you'll soon find out its not when you're caught by a local cop for spraying something up. But its street art? Yeah nah, you'll still get lifted. In the last 6 months a slew of new artists have emerged with some travelling from down south and a few older names taking up the gauntlet so it makes for interesting viewing, especially as everyone is on social media, something I wouldn't have dared to do ten years ago but my focus wasn't on trying to get known but to create those moments of interaction with the public that make street art what it is, the same thing that would make me stop and photograph every little tag I see. 

On a more positive note there is a feeling of a new scene emerging as people realise the power in street art and there's certainly a huge fan base for it. Also with a new legal wall space beside The Tunnels it seems like a good time to start educating people on the history of both street art and graffiti and its a history that runs deep in the gray city. So I want to work on supporting that whether its providing a platform for artists to share work, for local instagrammers to share their finds and to build something a bit more solid than just a quest for likes and follows. And I have no ownership or control over what street art is for our city. The whole point is that anyone can create something, paint something or paste something in the street and if others feel like they can shed some light on street art in Aberdeen then go for it. But I will say, Fakesy already hit Aberdeen in 2007, April 1st to be exact so we don't need another knock off Banksy and certainly not that pink bear that keeps popping up on my insta feed!

Its still in the early stages at the moment but I have produced the first Street Art Aberdeen zine which covers almost 20 years of street art, 10 copies of which I gave out at Nuart in Stavanger with another 5 test copies going out in various locations in Aberdeen (Victoria Road, Exchange Lane and Rosemount so far). I'm planning a proper print run in the new year and will be setting up a new webshop as part of this blog, something I've wanted to do for a long time. 

So that's it, a new feed to follow and hopefuly a handy insight into what goes down while everyone is out getting pissed on Friday night. Least that's when I was most active, I prefer being out in the day time now, it feels safer. 

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