Tag Archives: graffiti

Getting Up! (in the new millennium)

18 Jun

NYC-trainVia the Internet, getting up has taken a whole new format for the younger generation. Posting pictures on public ‘graffiti’ sites, chat rooms, communities and groups.

This has proved to be the downfall of writers recently after several internet information based arrests in 2007. The case of 2 Manchester graffiti artists, demonstrated the link between communication technology and graffiti.

They had been arrested after hitting some trains, but not until the pictures were posted on the Internet and the User traced. It was the alternative use of the traditional canvas in this case, which made me think about the new technology behind getting a name up.

Hitting trains was a format taken up in New York initially (according to general understanding (there are always claims of ‘I did it first in art’)).

Why trains? The subway trains in New York were seen all round the city. It would be painted in the lay-up or yard overnight and then run its route the next day with the work in place, taking the art to the viewer.

The lack of surveillance and security technology at this point made it easier to be able to paint train yards for a substantial amount of time and reflect an image of some quality. Whether Style was the message, or people were just bombing for fame- many of the pioneers of the day used this format and since it has become an iconic canvas, despite being a ‘Dead format’ for getting seen in most modern cases.

Not only has it become much harder to get any amount of time to paint a train in the U.K, generally trains go straight to the cleaner and do not run with the last nights productions. Like the particular highlights and common features we see in productions, painting trains is looking back to the roots of the New York movement.NYC-train2

The fact that people were risking their freedom to paint trains, only to have to post pictures on the Internet in order for the train to be seen- highlighted the fact that these artists are now not adopting that canvas for the initial purpose it served the New York pioneers. They were however, following the principle that graffiti reflects how society communicates. The art is no longer for the public view and strength of the images has become diluted in order to adapt to the time scale available.

But still graffiti artists get respect for painting trains, not for artistic quality, not to be seen on the lines, but simply in reflection of the rare canvas the art is presented on. The communicative element being projected via the new tool of mass communication, the World Wide Web.


(s)pray for justice

21 Feb Spray for justice - All Weather Artist - Gecko

geks-1Gecko has worked with All Weather Artist, Alto, before there was an All Weather Artist. More than a friend and fellow painter but a mentor. His efforts in regards to the Spray for Justice Exhibition will explain why Gecko has been such a profound influence on Graffiti in Manchester

Spray for justice, a special event held on Friday 18 January showcased a moving display of art work at the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh by local graffiti artist Gecko. Featuring 96 canvases which serve as a tribute and memorial to those people who lost their lives at Hillsborough in 1989.

After the release of the Independent Panel report in September 2012, Gecko was moved to make the first canvas in memory of Carl Brown, a friend of Gecko who died at Hillsborough when he was 18.

However, Gecko did not want to lay too much importance on his friend and stressed that: “Each canvas is an individual tribute to those who lost their lives and to the families who have fought for justice and no single person was to be any more important that the others. There were 96 victims with families and friends who have been left behind. This is a tribute to all 96.”

In his trade mark style, using aerosol paint and stencils to depict layers of images, including the iconic Liverpool Liver Bird in reds, burgundy and pinks.

Spray for justice 2 - All Weather Artist - Gecko

Local Leigh MP Andy Burnham, who work to establish the Hillsborough Independent Panel, said: “I was moved and very grateful when Gecko presented me and Steve Rotheram (MP for Walton) with a painting last year.  People think of Hillsborough as a Liverpool tragedy, but the sad truth is that it affected communities across the country, Leigh and Atherton included.  Nothing that I will ever do in my political career will give me a greater sense of fulfilment than seeing the families finally getting the truth and  justice they deserve. ”

Delia Brown (Carl’s mum), Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram will be special guests at the event at the gallery on Friday 18 January at 5pm.


Stuart Murray, Chief Executive of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT) – who manage the gallery on behalf of Wigan Council – added: “This is a touching tribute to a tragedy where truth has been hard fought.

“We hold many exhibitions at the Turnpike Gallery each year but perhaps none as poignant as this one.”

In the words of Gecko: “Despite what the media tells you, Graffiti artists have a conscience.”

A more permanent home is being sought for these works to stay on display as a powerful tribute so the 96 will not be forgotten.

The exhibition has been made possible with financial support from Daniel Burrows of D B Steel Fabrications Ltd and Rob Bell of Easiflow Ltd Beverage Gases.

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