More than grammars and translations, Athens graffiti have taught to the entire world how to say yes and no in Greek language. Here the crisis and the protests added to the lettering even the murals that in the capital city’s streets have been able to give a picture of fears, doubts and anger of a community who, just yesterday, come down to the streets to demonstrate against Brussels, the former Troika and austerity.
Athens is a very – rich – street – art city, thanks to a permissive legislation: this is the reason why artists from all around the world have painted for years houses and shops’ walls. Among them there are even those who have thought themself as a graffiti critic: this is the case of Manolis Iliopoulos, a local artist who’s never tired in accompanying tourists to discover the underground of Athens, between walls, studios and spray shops, and in explaining the history of the movement of street art in Athens. According Ilipoulos the graffiti movement was born in New York in response to the economic crisis: from here it spread all over the world coming to Athens in 1992, when the first pieces were appearing in the suburbs of the city, before moving to center. But the real explosion came in 2009, when with the shocking declaration of the newly installed Prime Minister George Papandreou came the first political murals in neighborhoods of Exarchia, Monastiraki and Psirri, where faces and pop symbols pop stand out alongside the archaeological treasures in the city. From that moment the scene of Athens street art exploded: not only protest murals made by independent artists, but also pieces commissioned by shopkeepers, entrepreneurs and real estate investors who have started to hire artists to paint the walls of their shops.
Among the most successful street artists there is WD, Wild Drawing: he is one of those who is not greek and, indeed, he comes from far away. From Bali to be precise, but it was so fascinated by the flow of Athens to decide not only to stay there, but also to make this city his personal museum in the open air. No coincidence that his pieces were among the most photographed by newspapers around the world and they often appeared on the cover (or home page) of major newspapers especially Italian. I have interviewed.
Who are you? What did you study and what do you do in life?
Hi! I’m WD aka Wild Drawing originally from Bali and currently I’m based in Athens.
I have Degrees in Fine Arts and in Applied Arts. I started off as street artist in 2000,
and from that time I spend most of my time in the streets even though I’ve never stopped
working in my studio too.
When and why you decided to start makeing murales?
I would say that “Mother Nature” went viral and in
Why you started makeing murales in Greece?
Some years ago I moved to Athens and I just continued to paint, as I used to do in Bali.
What do you think about Greece’s future?
In a way or the other, the only certain is that the hard times will be continued both for Greece
Have you got any artistic plan for the future, in Greece or abroad?
In the end of July I’m invited to Malta to attend Malta Street Art Festival.