Street art in Exarchia
3 min read
Exarchia is recognized as the most lively, mysterious, colorful, and restless area of Athens, Greece. Walking around Exarchia one can understand and feel the beautiful madness of the place where everyone’s voice can be seen and heard through the walls.
Street art is known for promoting and expressing independent and respective opinions such as cultural indifference, political suppression, and a form of showing resistance. Exarchia is considerably unpolished compared to its neighbors to the south and east. But what it lacks in clean sidewalks, it makes up for in virility and spirit. Exarchia is said to represent the microcosm of the major conflicts within the greek society; the police vs the politicized youth; the old vs the young generation; the state vs the poor and the marginalized; the political elite vs the austerity-stricken population.
Graffiti is seen as a form of artistic expression and can have positive outcomes for people, it is also illegal and considered vandalism. So, where is the line between art and vandalism? Artists are going out and creating art, but not with permission to do so. To some extent, graffiti is a little bit of both art and vandalism.
According to W.D., a graffiti artist from Bali, who lives in Athens and is the creator of many recognizable artworks throughout the city, "graffiti is a form of free expression. In reality, street art blooms in places where people accept this type of expression.”. However, Non-Locals are calling street art an art of vandalism, and the people involved are considered to have Borderline personality disorder (BPD), “The people involved in expressing their thoughts through graffiti are considered as mentally ill, Socially insecure and are emotionally unstable and they chose graffiti as a medium of communication to express their Will outside their four walls.”, As quoted by a famous psychiatrist U.L.Agiou Dimitriou.
According to Cacao rocks - street artist, Artists paint their city with different colors because that is the only thing that changes as the Government is not taking any responsibility in upholding the basic federal laws. The street art in exarchia is considered a News Daily for the locals as it depicts and showcases the truth and it doesn’t deceive them.
Nikos trannos - professor of sculpture and fine arts school Athens-exarchia As quoted by him, “Street art speaks with passers-by it basically winks at us, flirts”. He further added Graffiti contains a certain type of brutality where an artist paints next to the current artist without disturbing it. It is a delinquent art
Thissopum - street artist In the end, every piece of art is replaced with a white wall making it a canvas for the new artist to express his dexterity, This is the very own nature of street art which is spontaneous and transient. Which gives voice to everyone who wants to express themselves.
In 2008, A 15-year-old boy named “Alexis” was cold-blood deadly murdered by policemen on mesolongious street. Which raised agitations and serious conflicts between the government and the people of exarchia. Politicized expression through graffiti came into the limelight. The walls of exarchia were reporting more truth than a News Daily.Thus, becoming tête-à-tête of the Exarchia. Street art is one of the most hybrid forms of artistic expression in our modern world because its purpose is to draw upon what the viewers know and manipulate the physicality of the subject to make their point. The artists of the movement have “combined punk and hip-hop attitude with learned skills and knowledge of recent art movements”. While perhaps he is the artist with the most notoriety in this street art movement, Bansky has embraced all of the aesthetic and theological elements of the art and provides an excellent example of how the genre has not only spread from the walls to the streets but how it has become a socially acceptable form of art despite its illegality.