My wife and I paid a visit to the Cans Festival down at Waterloo. Described by the organisers as a 'street party of stencil art'. It made the news due to the involvement of Banksy, the stencil artist whose works are now a familiar part of the London experience.
Stencil art developed as an extension of, and heavily influenced by the graffiti art of the Hip Hop world. Lately money has gotten involved. This 'street party' involved a whole street running under the railway at Waterloo Station being taken over and stencil/graffiti artists from around the world spraying works all along it's length. Really, instead of a street party, it was the transformation of a street into a gallery space. And, while a lot of the work was amazing, taken out of context(that is being illegal, subversive and a part of the everyday environment) and placed side by side it lost a lot of it's impact.
I felt a bit cheated to see something like this become 'acceptable'. Once something subversive gets eaten by the mainstream it's like those circus lions, de-fanged and de-clawed, sedated and harmless.
Never mind. If art lets you down there's only one thing left to do, and that's dance.
Here's some Archie Bell And The Drells to take you through the rest of the bank holiday weekend....
Archie Bell & The Drells - Here I Go Again
Archie Bell & The Drells - Tighten Up
Archie Bell & The Drells - A Thousand Wonders
*The links were down. They should be alright now.....
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