How the crisis fuels the arts in Athens

Posted filed underBusiness, Contemporary Art, Graffiti, Greece, Street Art.

arts in Athens
It may not have the grandeur of Paris or Vienna but Athens has its own oddly shabby beauty. Beneath the magnificent archaeological sites, tree-lined streets hide pockets of elegance.

However, the city is also drab and unsightly in large areas, buildings choked with the fumes of traffic and cigarettes. It is many of these walls – grey and crumbling – that have been transformed by a burgeoning trend in street art.

BBC: “For as the financial crisis has transformed parts of the city for the worse – once-affluent areas now beset by crime and prostitution – it has also inspired a flourishing community of graffiti artists, brightening up the capital with their acerbic and colourful creations.

Among them is the mysteriously named Bleeps.

Often compared to the British artist Banksy, he keeps his identity secret.

On a driving tour of his work, he points out an image that shows a woman holding a sign that reads "hopeless", next to words such as "monetary system", "capitalism" and "corruption".

Another depicts a banker clutching a safe, pursued by a figure representing death. A third, entitled "Greece's economic model" shows a girl with an amputated leg.

"I was in a sense lucky to live in this difficult era, although it's difficult for me as well," he says.

"It gave me the opportunity to discuss it and create images about it. If there weren't this crisis, my art would be like a voice in the desert. Nobody would listen to it."”

Read on at the BBC.

arts in Athens

- Athens Street Art on Flickr

Image from Cafe Babel: Artist duo Dreyk the pirate and Eros, Athens, 11 July 2010 (Image: ©Dreyk the pirate/ Flickr)