Sometimes grafitti can tell you stories about the places you visit. It can be subtle messages or bold, in your face works of art. No matter what shape or form they come in, I have a penchant for these small fragments of the bigger picture.
On the wall outside the late French troubadour Serge Gainsbourg’s house you can still catch a glimpse of his scandalous life and love of women. His song “Je t’aime… moi non plus” was denounced by the Vatican, and could easily be called the French erotic national anthem. At 5 Rue de Verneuil in the Saint Germain des Prés district, him and his English style icon wife Jane Birkin are still passionately in love. Serge + Jane = 4ever!
Huge walls covered in grafitti usually tells stories about grungy neighbourhoods and young people in opposition. No where is this more true than in Madrid’s Malasaña. You’ll see grafitti everywhere, and an abundance of students enjoying street life. Great place!
Today, street art is a recognized art form which is sometimes brought in from the street and sold for amazing amounts in posh galleries. A Banksy stencil will easily sell for twenty thousand pounds. No wonder property owners no longer get annoyed when an urban artist chooses their wall as their canvas. Instead of painting over the grafittis immediately, you will now see perspex and varnish being applied in order to preserve the pieces. The world is certainly changing!
Chueca is Madrid’s gay neighbourhood and a place where the male population is dominant. Someone obviously got sick and tired of having the entrance to their garage being used as a public toilet…
Below is a slightly different take on grafitti. The trees along the Seine in Paris are covered in carved declarations of forever love. It’s beautiful! Sort of the artistic icing on the cake in something that has to be one of the most romantic cities in the world. FOREVER!