While some would say graffiti is a mindless vandalism that makes building walls uglier, lowers stock values and makes people uncomfortable, others find pleasure in such artistic shows. On the streets of Belgrade, there are statements of love and meaningless doodles, but there are also real pieces of art.
Take a look at some of the most original graffiti of Belgrade.
Graffiti represents an irremovable part of the urban environment. They are everywhere, exposed to sight, time and emotions. And that makes them temporary. “It doesn’t matter if we are looking at a graffiti-painted wall in Belgrade or a cave wall with the pictures of caveman from prehistory – the message is there” – said a young artist, well-known in the world of street artists, with a request to stay anonymous.
His opinion that graffiti has become an inevitable part of the contemporary culture is shared amongst his fellow graffiti artists.
“They carry great cultural and social value as a form of informal communication and interaction between people. They are usually a feature of youth culture and as that they have become one of the alternative forms of expression and stand for the unique style of modern, urban way of life” – said Nico Spada, a member of this generation of graffiti artists.
As graffiti artists told us, drawing graffiti with a form and conveying messages sparks off vicious reactions because it goes against the dominant cultural norms, but graffiti can be accepted as a valuable form of expressing yourself.
“Graffiti isn’t drawn solely out of rebellion and resistance against social norms, but because the artists who draw them want to put a focus on a certain attitude” – street artists told us.
“A whole different issue for graffiti artists in our country is the graffiti of sports fans. People can’t always tell the difference between offensive messages and pieces of art. That is why the latter isn’t given the credit it deserves” – said a young admirer of this kind of art, Teodora R.
Dragana Kostica is the Belgrade-based editor in chief and founder of Still in Belgrade art, culture and club scene magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management in Arts (MA of Arts) and a Bachelor degree in Archaeology.