Street Art, Then and Now

before after graffiti photos


We tend to notice as buildings come and go, skylines change and grow with planning and oversight, but what about the spray-painted wall art the adorns the sides of these structures, sometimes persistent but often fragile and ephemeral?

graffiti then and now

graffiti past and present

OldWalls, a project by Alberto Boido, documents past and present layers of street graffiti, meticulously tracking the artists responsible for the works as well, whenever possible. Most of the pairs are taken from the same vantage point, first in the 1990s, then again in the 2010s.

before after blu graffiti

before after wall murals

Sometimes, the creators in question are famous (or infamous) local creators either adding their mark or being painted over. The above murals in Milan were made more recently by the well-known Italian artist Blu, but the walls,  as you can see, were originally covered in the 1990s. Other artists featured here include Robx, Prof Bad Trip, Maox, Inox, Kino, Bach, Zoc, Kalimero, Kayone, Yazo, Loze, Kid, Zen, Airone, Krema, Steezo, Teatro, Mec and Oze.

then now worse tags


graffiti over time

Boido does more than just document these works – he also critiques the policies of municipalities that try to control works of street art. In some sequences, his shots show how surfaces scrubbed clean of more creative and vibrant graffiti end up populated with quick-and-dirty tags instead.

then now demolished graffiti

then now destroyed wall

Of course, ten or twenty years having elapsed, in some cases the entire building disappears and any art on its walls along with it. After all, it is often derelict and deserted structures that no one minds people painting in the first place, and these, in turn, are often on the chopping block for eventual destruction.

then now graffiti persists

In very rare cases, the graffiti in question actually persists across multiple decades – always and inevitably faded and weathered, sometimes partially painted over, but it is still impressive when these works have such staying power. For more examples, dates, details and artists, visit the OldWalls Project website.

Found on: WebUrbanist


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