I spent a month living in Athens and even though that was the case I only wrote one post about it. The post I did write about it was about how I did a whole lot of nothing in Athens. The truth is I did do nothing, but I also did a lot of searching for Street Art. By the time I arrived in Athens my love for Street Art had grown tremendously after finding Street Art all over the world and some of the best Street Art in Amsterdam. I was in Street Art heaven because I was finding it everywhere in Athens.
When I arrived in Athens it was December of 2011 (fuck nearly 2 years ago… that’s crazy) it was at the height of the financial crisis happening in Europe. Of the Financial Crisis it was Greece that was hit the hardest and protest would break out all the time in the capital Athens. I lived down the street from some of the most important Government Buildings and would find riot police at every corner, it was interesting to say the least. I remember seeing people shoot up in the street, hell I even saw a lady snort a line of something at the doorstep of my apartment complex. I saw so many homeless people and poverty everywhere. I also enjoyed many nights sitting on the balcony of my apartment watching prostitutes work. I remember always thinking Athens is the saddest city I have ever visited and I still think that today. I still wonder how a prosperous city like Athens could fall to ruins in the blink of an eye and be so noticeable at every turn. I even saw it in the Street Art I found all over the city as Athens was literally burning.
I love Street Art for many reasons, but most of all because it gives you a look at what is happening at the heart of the city you are visiting. Street Art is used as a medium for people who may not have a voice to share how they feel and express themselves on current events happening there at that moment in time. While I lived in Cairo, Street Art was about the politics and revolutions happening. The Street Art I found in Athens was clearly about the financial crisis, riots, anger, sadness, death, social unrest and unfairness happening at that time. As you scroll through the photos you will get a sense of what I just described yes it’s in fact a bit morbid, but at the same time just beautiful that people are talented enough to express themselves through art. Since it’s been almost two years since I have been there I am sure most of these are gone by now and that’s the other reason I love Street Art it captures the happenings of a city for that moment in time before it gets covered by others or the Government. Scroll slowly and see what you think each piece is interpreting.
Aside from the things I mentioned above that you may notice in all the photos above I am sure you also recognized a recurring character. The lady painted in black & white with long beautiful hair set in different settings with different emotions is painted by an artist named Sonke. If you do a Google Image search you will find so many amazing peaces of art done by him. He even has a website with his Gallery and a Facebook page. The ones I found of her are my favorite because while I was living in Athens I remember becoming obsessed with finding as many pieces of her as I could.
So what do you think about these pieces of Street Art that I was able to capture during my time in Athens? Which one is or ones are your favorite?
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