IT has been some years since graffiti became recognised as an art-form, or rather a form of art. Anyone who has taken a train into any of Europe’s great cities will have seen this rather invasive genre adorning buildings, flyovers, bridges, goods vans and train shelters en route to the central terminus. It’s a feature of the approach to most major capitals. The closer you get, the more you see.
In recent times, the intensive graffiti of the dissident has been a feature of many of our metropolitan areas. In some, such as Copenhagen, Ljubljana and Bern, the “official” hideaways of those that have spurned the conventional life are splattered with some of the most imaginative graffiti you can find. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but even the most conservative middle-aged folk cannot deny its existence, or gaze, open-mouthed at its audacity.
I was asked why I opted for the John Lennon Wall in Prague as Isherwood’s imagery. “Very young,” I was told with a slight suggestion that I was trying to be “hip” (now that does give my age away). There were a couple of reasons. Firstly, it was colourful. Second, the catchphrase, “the writing’s on the wall” is a way to capture the way I feel about the current business and social paradigm. And thirdly, the wall in Prague is literally covered in messaging. Isherwood Editorial wants to help people achieve greater clarity in their messaging. The graffiti-covered wall may be a major distraction, but in some ways, it reflects the business landscape of today.
For the record, I love the John Lennon Wall, I love Prague. And I love Europe. As the great man said, “love is all you need”. In today’s complex environment, that might be worth remembering.