Welcome to our special, vibrant Urban Art issue, presented by our editor Anastasia Nysten. We take you on a journey across the globe, with a focus on some of the most interesting and diverse street art and graffiti gracing the walls and walkways of contemporary cities.
We also take you a journey back in time to explore the origins and development of graffiti, looking at how and why it became known as a rebellious art form, associated with democracy, revolution, the battle for equality and the subversion of the political and social status quo.
We explore the commercialisation of street art and its recognition as a “legitimate” art form in recent years, talking to French street artist Kongo who has reinterpreted his epic murals to fit within the confines of a Richard Mille watch. We also learn how Brazilian brothers Os Gemeos use their enormous murals to humanise the inhospitable walls of Sao Paolo, and chat with French-Tunisian street artist eL Seed about his recent Cairo masterpiece.
Iranian photographer Kamran Heidari tells us about the historic graffiti of Shiraz, documented in his urban portraits, while, in search of those specialising in unusual media, we take a look at the work of Spanish collective Luzinterruptus, who use installations made of light to raise environmental awareness. Size isn’t everything, and an interview with London-based artist Slinkachu enlightens us about the stories behind his tiny street scenes, made using carefully personalised and painted figures from train sets.
We hope you will enjoy the trip as an admirer, and perhaps also as a creator. We have chosen to place an empty wall on the cover of this issue, waiting to receive your artistic expressions. Send us a photo of your artwork! We look forward to publishing it on our website, as well as our social media, to get the feedback of our followers.