There has been some debate in recent weeks as to the nature of graffiti: is it art or just plain vandalism. Griff from Street Art London is a strong believer that street art is indeed art and has kindly agreed to write up a guest post for me. All photographs in this post are copyright of Street Art London.
We thought it would be a good idea to offer an insight into the work of one particular street artist whose work us Londoners are becoming more familiar and gaining a greater affinity with. This street artist is Stik, and if you have taken a stroll around East London recently then you will probably have noticed his 'Stik People' hanging around on the walls of derelict buildings and sleeping on shop shutters and doorways.
Stik People originally began to appear in Hackney Wick but have, in recent times, been steadily on the march towards Central London. At present, Stik is one of the most prolific street artists in London and is always putting up new work – 2011 being no exception. There are even a number of Stik People just off Shaftsbury Avenue.
Stik himself has spent a sizable portion of his life living on the street and in squats and such themes of human vulnerability trace through in his street art. Although they are androgynous and constructed out of very simple shapes Stik People are nonetheless capable of conveying complex emotions. In Stik's own words:
“Beauty is in movement. That’s what it’s about. Beauty is about the way that someone moves their body. You can tell by someone’s walk if they’re angry, whether they’re happy or if they’ve just eaten. You can tell a lot about someone just by the way they’re moving their back or their eyes. There doesn’t need to be a great deal of detail there. You can see it from across the road. You can see someone silhouetted against a white wall in the night and check whether they’re walking in an aggressive way or if they’re someone you know. That’s what I’m trying to capture in my work – that direct recognition.”
Read the full interview on Street Art London.
For more street artist news visit us at Street Art London and check out our Facebook community. We also do walking tours around East London and would love to show you all of Stik's work (and more from the likes of Banksy, Eine, C215 etc. etc.) up close.
If any of you are interested in going on one of the walking tours, I was thinking of going in April. Let me know if you’d like to join in!