Stephanie Keller, an American, who has lived and worked in the UK for the last seven years in the Art Industry, took members of the Halcyon community on a tour of East London’s Street Art.
She explained that Street Art often gets a bad reputation, due to it being confused with Graffiti Art. Street Art originated in the 80’s from classically trained painters wanting to display their art publicly and free for everyone to enjoy. More recently, Street Art has been used to help gentrify neighbourhoods and building owners often legally commission famous Street Artists to increase a building’s value. Graffiti Art is usually done without legal permission or artistic purpose, but simply to ‘tag’ one’s name in a certain area for reputation building. It is closely associated with gang culture and Graffiti Artists and Street Artists are often at war with each other - destroying each other's pieces - and Artists will often move between the two groups which causes the blur in terminology.
Stephanie’s insightful knowledge and connections with the artists ensured all the pieces and background of the artists were thoroughly explained with impressive detail.