Berlin Graffiti Artists Destroy Their Art to Fight Gentrification
Lutz Henke, one of the co-creators of Blu’s world-famous giant Kreuzberg murals, chatted to the Guardian this week about why they decided to paint over them in black and explained their action was intended as ‘a wake-up call to the city and its dwellers, a reminder of the necessity to preserve affordable and lively spaces of possibility.’
“While Berlin on the one hand prides itself on its art scene, its failed urban development and cultural policy squandered much of the city’s rare spatial potential,” said Henke, “and thereby also jeopardised the existence of its main attraction – the artists.” http://bit.ly/1ASjDuj
The complexity of street art and its relation with gentrification was similarly highlighted in Bristol in 2009 when underground graffiti group Appropriate Media, spray-painted over Banksy’s ‘Mild Mild West’ in Bristol after posting an angry diatribe against Banksy and graffiti ‘artists’ in general. (http://bit.ly/1CGaQjy )
“Graffiti artists are the copywriters for the capitalist created phenomenon of ‘urban’ art,” they declared in an online posting accusing graffiti writers of contributing to gentrification.
“In collusion with property developers, they paint deprived areas bright colours to indicate the latest funky inner city area ripe for regeneration. Pushing out low income families in their wake, to be replaced by middle class metrosexuals with their urban art collections,” they said.
“Graffiti artists are the performing spray-can monkeys for gentrification,” Appropriate Media concluded.
“Get off our streets, go back to your leafy suburbs and get yourself a proper job,” they snarled.
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff