Monday, September 21, 2015

Birmingham Graffitti: Exclusive report!

You may or may not be aware of the fact that as well as this blog I am also on instagram. This instagram is not a robot telling you to click a link and get more followers. You will not find any pictures of boobs or my abs, or what I ate for breakfast. Much like the B-Town blog the aim is to support Birmingham's culture and my instagram ( is specifically for photographs of Birmingham's street art only. After writing the previous blog in my head and taking photos for it I took a short walk to Digbeth so that I could take some more photographs when I ran into two men. One a skinny man in a black t shirt the other in a hi-vis jersey. For a moment I thought that maybe the graffiti was being removed but in fact it was being painted on. While the skinny man was focussed entirely on painting his mural of a melting face, the other man explained that his name was sole (soul?) and that he was also a street artist under the name GENT 48. If you have been round the area you may have seen a lot of his work. The vampiric figure on the wall  next to the car park, and  some very disturbing murals further down the street are also his.
With great pride he explained that the derelict car park opposite the coach station is a completely legal and council endorsed area for artists to paint on. I told him that I was impressed by some his own work and that some of it was very dark. Which didn't illicit much response beyond a smirk. Instead he was far more interested in showing off other artist's work. Showing pieces that had been painted only hours before. An artist called 'METH' who'd painted some crazy pieces. He said that the guy is in his 30's, much older than you'd expect, and described another artist as being 'off his head'. I joked that he must be sniffing the fumes while painting. As It's legal you can paint in this area during day time, rather than sneaking around at night. All you need is to find a wall that's a bit shit, paint it over and paint your own over it. He said that all street artists are a bit shit at first, but you get better the more you do it. He mentioned a few times that it was great that the council had allowed this as street artists need somewhere to go. Not all of the artwork is legal, A lot of the derelict buildings are still owned by someone. I admitted to him that I can't read any of them, but I love the bold colour and vibrancy of a lot of these works.  Meanwhile Sole carried on painting his master-work, undisturbed by anything around him, and Gent 48 walked off happily into the distance.

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