Monday, May 16, 2011


click photo to enlarge
I've noted elsewhere in this blog that, on the whole I'm not a great fan of street murals, graffiti and the like, though there are exceptions, often of a less permanent kind, that do appeal to me. Too many murals painted on walls are put there in an effort to "lift" a run-down corner, inject a note of gaiety into a dismal urban setting, or because a fund-granting organisation wanted to spend the last of its yearly quota in a "meaningful" and eye-catching way and threw some money in the direction of a "community artist." Sometimes this works, the quality of the commissioned piece is good, and it serves its purpose until, with age, it starts to degenerate and is painted over. Where that happens I have few objections. But more often than not the quality of the painting is mediocre and it spends more years than it ought slowly peeling, becoming discoloured, stained, and vandalised, degrading its location rather than adding to it in the way that was intended. As far as graffiti goes I share the view of many that if its painted on a wall that belongs to someone else, without their permission, it's vandalism regardless of whether its good or bad art.

When I was in London last November I took this photograph of a mural that adorns the wall of the Design Museum. The museum building, perhaps inevitably and predictably given its purpose, is a white blocky building. So, a mural that consists of black, cartoon-like shapes incorporating faces on one section of the walls, fits in very well with the overall minimalist aesthetic. I took a couple of shots of it, then sought a photograph that included a passer-by. I ended up, also perhaps inevitably and predictably, with a composition that I'd used before and liked.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 105mm
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On