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Egyptian Protest Graffiti

Egyptians might be some of the first graffiti artists in history with their famous hieroglyphics and carvings found everywhere on ancient Egyptian tombs, but this new wave of art is different. Graffiti in Cairo today is dominated by anti-Mubarak messages on city walls, military tanks, and smartly-written signs carried by frustrated people, and it is taking over the streets and being used to protest against the current government.
One of the first works of graffiti I spotted was drawn on the Qasr al-Nil bridge, which was the scene of a huge battle on Friday between protesters and Central Security forces that resulted in protesters taking over Tahrir Square. The tear gas, which people later discovered was expired and extremely dangerous, was used heavily on protesters, who were picking up the small canisters and throwing them back at the CS forces or into the Nile.
The graffiti, which looks magnificent under the large lion statue standing at the mouth of the bridge, reads: Game Over Mubarak.
After the military forces took over control of security in the city, they were welcomed by the protesters with relief; the chanters often repeated, “We and the army are on one side.” Army officers were hugged and kissed. They reacted nicely to protesters as well.
“The army will never attack its own people,” one of the reporters in a newsroom I joined says. “They will act nicely with people, even if it was only for show to allow a military leader to become the new president.”
The tanks of the military are being used as billboards for graffiti. The clean, yellowish vehicles are now spotted with slogans cursing the current president, asking him to leave the Egyptian people alone, or asking for the support of the army.
A young protester holds an upside down image of embattled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak overlaid with the words, "Leave you coward." The graffiti behind the youngster reads: "30 years of humiliation and poverty."

Egypt's Got Graffiti ?!

Egyptian Graffiti

Graffiti on Egypt's National Museum says no stealing and a poem

Urban art is now a widespread phenomenon around the major metropolis and urban centres of the world and certain forms of it could be said to have existed for millennia. Graffiti can be defined as being inscriptions, slogans and drawings; scratched, scribbled or painted on a wall or other public or private surface. The word "graffiti" is derived from the Latin word "graphium", which means "to write." The term "graffiti" was originally used by archaeologists to describe drawings and writings found on ancient buildings and monuments in Pompeii, Egypt and in the Roman catacombs.
There are certainly many such scrawlings around Cairo, mostly consisting of advertisements for a variety of services, religious platitudes, football club slogans and occasionally amusing folk sayings. Also common are murals painted on public school gates and depictions of the Hajj pilgrimage and the ‘Khamsa’ or the hand of Fatima to ward off the evil eye. But graffiti that can be found in other cities is more of a rarity, the sort of graffiti associated with the hip-hop movement and the aspiration to turn oppressive urban spaces into vehicles for expression. In a way this form of graffiti, as well as street-art, can be considered “an equalization of expression in public contexts” as held by art critic Crispin Sartwell. In a world where only money or political power can purchase commercial space – street artists are artistic thieves in the best 'Robin Hoodesque' sense of the word – stealing expanses of ugly urban space in the name of freedom of expression and turning them into places of public discourse standing against bland authoritarianism. And slowly but surely a graffiti/street-art movement of this variety is emerging in Cairo and Alexandria, despite often clashing with governmental forces, as with the case of two graffiti artists from the opposition group known as April 6 Youth, Ahmad Maher and Amr Ali who were arrested for spray painting political slogans on Feb 17, 2010.
Also worth mentioning is small group named Alex Street Art, which organizes graffiti workshops based in Alexandria. The group, a brainchild of fine arts student Aya Tarek, started off in 2008 as a graffiti-art collective known as Foq wa Taht (Above and Below) on the groups' blog Tarek explains that her intention behind founding the workshops is “to build an organised Egyptian street-art movement. The majority of Egyptians have never been to an art gallery in their lives, simply because the art presented in such white cubes doesn’t reflect them; it doesn’t reflect their realities. It’s mostly westernised and made for the enjoyment of certain highly-sophisticated people. Art should not be limited, it should open to everyone, and so if Egyptians still fail to reach art, we will bring art to them, to a wall just around the corner,” she maintains. Gradually the movement is building up momentum with workshops and graffiti-related events being organised by prominent cultural centres all over Cairo with the aim of prompting more and more people to create much needed art for the street - an art defined by its lack of elitism – true vigilante art.

Graffiti like an Egyptian Got Graffiti? celebrates Free Egypt

Whats a protest without kick-ass Graffiti

New York via

Back in April Jordan Seiler's Public Ad Campaign organized a takeover of about 120 illegal billboards in NYC; each was whitewashed, and repainted by an artist.
Yesterday was round two; this time another 114 billboards were targeted; some of the results are below:

Read more:

Unfortunately the illegal billboard companies (chief offender: NPA Outdoor) swiftly reclaimed a lot of the billboards with fresh low-budget ads.

Read more of the story on the New York Times, the Public Ad Campaign's website, and see more images on Animal NYC and The Street Spot.

The London Police

TLP in Miami

ROA- Mexico

Yola- Warsaw

I came across the fascinating work of Yola. Yola recreates scenes from Renaissance paintings using people from a local community center.

"Inviting the folks from the day centre was supposed to be a slightly subversive act: as if entering a haven for Fallen Angels, all aged 60 or over, who end up in a day centre because they can’t cope with life in society. The society they contributed to throughout their lives and which now pays them back a pittance, not enough for a decent living. To be honest I was expecting human misery and what I found instead was a bunch of happy people."

artist: Yola
location: Warsaw, Poland

Dimitris Taxis

Dimitris Taxis. locations: Szczecin, Poland (top), Berlin

Erick - Brussels

Global Graffiti Gallery Celebrating Egypts Freedom !!!

artist: Selon location: Goiania, Brazil

artist: Selon location: Goiania, Brazil

Phelgm -Sheffield



Evere-Buenos Aires

Ever -Buenos Aires

Beyond Graffiti !

Beplus France

Beplus France
Say the words "street art" and chances are people will conjure up images that borrow heavily from graphic pictures inspired by comic-book art or Constructivism... ... That trend is changing. Young artists are turning away from the figuration common in so much street art—not to mention the alphanumeric elements of spray-can graffiti—and producing works that are more conceptual, abstract, and even three-dimensional. .... For many of these artists, moving away from words and figurative images is key. "This isn't about imposing an idea," says Madrid-based Nuria Mora, 36, whose angular street abstractions are occasionally laced with floral patterns inspired by textiles. "These are quiet works. I'm trying to create a bit of silence in the city." .... The shift to a different kind of work also represents an attempt to create something that will stand out amidst the plethora of illicit marks that seem to cover every available city surface. For years, Eltono tagged the train tunnels around Paris, but when he arrived in Madrid in the '90s, he found a city saturated in graffiti. "To add my name to that," he says, "just didn't make sense." It was then that he developed the colorful geometric box patterns for which he is now known. ... Javier Abarca, a curator and critic who teaches at the Complutense University in Madrid and writes about graffiti on his blog, Urbanario, says that it's time to rethink the street art taxonomy. While "graffiti" remains the chosen term to describe spray-can tagging, "street art"—with its everything-on-the-street implications—has become unwieldy. Abarca says he uses the term "post-graffiti" to describe any type of iconic mark-making on the street. ... For more site-specific works, such as the one-offs created by Downey or Reese, Abarca uses the term "intervention"—which refers to a piece within the context of a very precise environment. Naturally, it's not always clear who belongs in which column. Almost all of the artists mentioned above cross over from one category to another, from the street to the gallery, from graffiti to postgraffiti to intervention, eluding categorization. "The interest for me is in this gray area where words aren't speaking quite perfectly," says MOMO. "If we're having trouble with the words, it means that something new is forming." Read the full article on ARTnews. via Vandalog