A UNIVERSITY academic has brought the colourful world of Spanish graffiti art to North Staffordshire as part of his latest research.
Sociologist Andy Zieleniec spent 10 months studying the vibrant paintings which adorn walls, shop shutters and other public spaces.
He traveled to Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid for the project, talking to artists themselves and chronicling the different ways they turned streets into public art galleries.
Now Andy has launched an exhibition at Keele University, which shows around 120 photographs of the artwork he found on his travels.
The 50-year-old Keele lecturer said: “There are some stunning images. Graffiti artists see their work as a way of reclaiming a community or urban space from commerce. Most of the artists paint in their own neighbourhoods”.
“In Spain, there is a history of using the walls as message boards.”
Graffiti is often seen as a form of ‘tagging’ buildings, with artists sometimes even signing their names or using distinctive styles, just like Britain’s Banksy.
It can often cover political themes, ranging from anti-racism and sexual politics through to people protesting against Spain’s austerity measures.
But many images are just drawn for the enjoyment of the art itself.