Throughout all eras of history, human beings have constantly fought to find ways to express that intrinsic burning. It’s the creative replica of the voice that yells when told to quieten, the pigmentation of the face that gradually turns blue when starved of oxygen.

Graffiti, once considered vandalism and hurriedly washed away by council clean-up teams, is steadily becoming a spirited entity of its own.

With graffiti now being commissioned throughout parts of the city, such as London’s Shoreditch, it feels as though there’s a certain energy in the air; a door opening. It brings to mind the idea that this ferocious, vigorous and resilient art form is much like a wild weed; when in full growth and capacity, the weed blossoms into the most exquisite flower. And an irregular process has begun recently, one which has seen people cultivate this weed to grow instead of immediately destroying the roots at the first sighting. As a result, people have begun to witness this metaphorical flower and its beauty, therefore allowing the ‘weed’ to transcend into the most divine organism it can be.

Considering Shoreditch was originally one of the most neglected parts of the city, the area reclaimed its power, not through investment schemes or corporate building plans, but through art and commentary on the world we all exist within. The colours on the wall and the exposure of visionary, disturbed, dream-like scenarios reveal the treasure the east end neighbourhood has to offer. Shoreditch is communicating and surviving on its own terms.

GATS – an acronym for ‘Graffiti Against The System’ – is a renowned US street artist from the Bay Area. The artist uses his graffiti and poetry to make the streets the starting point of conversation. The unidentified painter risks arrest and social trouble to open up discussions and to expand minds. His main artistic focus is to raise awareness to cultural social standing and current issues such as police brutality, government oppression and even the reclamation of a denied hometown. Thus empowering himself through art under the nose of those trying to control and oppress.

This is an extract from Issue 7, The Barely Legal Issue of Viper Magazine. Read more from the magazine here. Buy physical and digital copies here.

Photos by HypeMari
Words by Anastasia Bruen

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