East London has been the focal point of the world’s eyes, for the past few weeks, but the closing ceremony spelt the end of the Olympics, spelling the start of the Paralympic games and leaving eyes to shift towards Rio. The world’s greatest athletic competition has done its habitual tendency and lit a fire of inspiration throughout the nation. Its obvious to see it in terms of athletes inspiring kids but also surprisingly graffiti artists. The logo itself was supposedly designed to look like a graffiti tag, a way to show the world that London despite being a long-standing metropolis it is one that is still with its finger well and truly pressed on the pulse of the ever-fluctuating scene throughout all of its boroughs.
The true class of British athletes was on top form with the likes of Mo Farrah winning the Olympic double for the 5,000m and 10,000m. The streets of East London breathe a different breath however, thanks to Banksy, as his work contrasts the adulation with the crises facing the world. One piece called “Hackney Welcomes the Olympics” depicts a javelin thrower with some unusual equipment, a missile. He chips in again with his “Going For Mould” which shows pole-vaulter jumping over a real barbed wire fence onto a mattress. This one done coincidently right by the Olympic Village, leaving no message tongue in cheek.
And while most of us will remember the games for the magic with Jennifer Ennis, the walls of east London rebelled and skewered at the commercialism of this games. The painting of a chubby Ronald McDonald running with an Olympic torch/coke can protests this very point. This nonetheless was just one of the paintings that didn’t last as, Ealing council removed it six days later.
The real contest was therefore set in motion and began. It was not long before it began getting tense between the artists and the council officials as they desperately track down the work. This prompted some artists to hold off their message right up until the games started; to make sure it was seen at London’s busiest time.
Though one of the most interesting pieces has managed to stay fresh from the London riots and has been tucked away on a fish and chip shop. The piece takes a fresh stab at the over spending of the government at such a crucial economic time. It depicts a hooded thief stealing one of the Olympic rings and was painted at the time of the riots in London, but has survived all this time becoming even more poignant now.
However, it is not all doom and gloom on the streets, as some of the artists have decided to celebrate the positives, of having such as prestigious event in your home nation. The artist Jimmy C wanted to pay his tribute to the Olympics in some kind of lasting image that would live on even after the hype had moved on. He decided to use the image of recently crowned greatest Olympic sprinter of all time, Usain Bolt, whose Olympic double and defending his Beijing crown combines with, 50-year independence celebrations for his native Jamaica.
It currently stands in Brick Lane but the artist revealed it might never of happened. The lift that supposedly was to help him create this two-storey homage broke and refused to work. Luckily they managed to get the thing to work and good job.
And those with a need for conspiracies also have their fill, as graffiti artist Mr Moustache and his illuminati take on the Olympic logo. ‘The All Seeing Olympics’ transforms the circles into pyramids and has the All Seeing Eye dead in the centre. Make of that what you will.
Well if certain conspiracies do come true we have not got long left till we all meet our maker, but one thing is for real, London is a vibrant vessel of street artists creating tiny storms in big teacups. But an enjoyable one!