Whenever there is political and social turmoil, artists and writers take to the streets. When the street becomes your canvas and paper, you get incredible wake-up calls while walking down a sidewalk. Street art and graffiti is as old as antiquity. Greeks have been a complaining sort of set from the beginning of time. Street artists have the pulse of the zeitgeist on their wrists as they shock and wake up the somnambulant passerby with images and slogans. They transform public spaces, sidewalks, municipal walls into open-air museums. Their work is a pleasant surprise for us city dwellers and in creating art in public spaces, itself an anti-establishment act of protest, makes their message even more piercing.
The street art scene coming out of Greece in the time of crisis is cutting-edge. The National Hellenic Museum is about to launch an exhibit dedicated to this phenomenon named, The Street Is My Gallery, opening September 22nd.
As it explains, “A major exhibit on the street artwork movement sweeping Greece as a result of the political and social crisis happening. Our large Calamos Hall will feature many works of art from 6 prominent street artists in Greece as well individual works from many others. There will be life size replicas, original artwork and educational programming integrating Chicago street art as expression.”
I would trek out to Chicago just to check out this and perhaps tape giagia’s story about her coming to America in the Kamberos Oral History Center at the NHM.