Finding mainstream fame as a facet of hip-hop culture and long being a thorn in the paw of County Councils and Schoolyards nationwide, Graffiti is an inescapable presence in most of the world’s urban sprawls. Whilst some artists, like the UK’s infamous and much-imitated Banksy, use stencils to create often contentious works passing comment on Government or current affairs, European artist Blu has taken his creations a step further by using stop-motion animation to bring them to life.
As with the political stencils of England’s Banksy, Blu’s graffiti avoids association with the squiggling ‘tags’ found scrawled on walls worldwide by being something more cerebral. By developing his graffiti into short stop-motion animations, Blu’s creations are allowed to literally jump from their canvas and explore their surroundings, developing and changing at the artist’s will. Joyously macabre and immaculately sound tracked by a minimalistic selection of surreal sound effects, the warping, crawling, forms of Blu’s animations scratch and crackle their way through streets in cities from Buenos Aires to Berlin.
Bold, meticulous and ingenious, Blu’s elaborate living graffiti pushes boundaries, raises standards and establishes that far from being limited to Banksy’s clumsy political rhetoric, Graffiti is a genuinely exciting artistic medium. Watch his 2008 video ‘Muto’ below.