Monday, December 21, 2015

Graffiti and murals

click photo to enlarge
From what I've seen of Portugal - the capital, Lisbon, and something of the coast and countryside nearby - the country has a problem with graffiti. In particular the "tags" that people spray on buildings and anywhere else that offers a flat, plain surface. On some buildings, particularly in and  around some residential areas, the surface up to a height of six feet is covered with years-worth of the stuff. Fortunately in public places it is usually much less prevalent. I've written elsewhere on this blog about my feelings on graffiti, so I won't repeat them here. I've also expressed my views on murals painted on buildings, saying that I prefer them to be on something attached to the surface rather than on the wall itself. That way the building doesn't have to suffer the years when the mural is in decay and has become an eyesore.

Of course, my view is founded on my experience of murals in the cities and towns of the regions of the UK, rather than in capital cities. And the fact is, I've seen very good murals in London, works that enhance an area and put a smile on the face of passers-by. It's hard not to agree that these are worth-while artistic and social endeavours that make a positive contribution to the cityscape. I've seen examples of this sort in Lisbon too, and today I post a couple of photographs of two murals on two elevations of the same building. The building is adjacent to the quay where liners tie up, a riverside area of strictly utilitarian buildings, somewhat neglected, where this mural adds a note of interest. When I saw the characters in the main photograph I had a feeling I knew them from somewhere: they looked familiar, with a hint of steam punk about them. However, I've been unable to turn up anything on the internet so I'll have to wait and see if anything eventually surfaces from the depths of my memory. The face on the smaller photograph made out of chipped render is particularly effective and unusual. Incidentally, some of the pervasive graffiti that I mentioned can be seen on the lower left of the building.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 11mm (30mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f2.2
Shutter Speed: 1/2000
ISO: 125
Exposure Compensation:  -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On