Jamie Evrard is an established Vancouver artist who is a well-renowned for her still-life and floral paintings. In addition to her paintings, though, Evrard has been documenting graffiti for over 10 years, mostly in Rome, Paris, and New York.
"When I travel I feel compelled to take photographs, not pictures of monuments or hotels, or even the friends I travel with, but rather images that capture the zeitgeist of the place. I’ve been to my favourite city, Rome, many many times now, and for a while it seemed I had taken all of the photographs I could of the place. Then, some years ago graffiti began to appear…..not just the ubiquitous spray painted squiggles that now encircle some of Rome’s most lovely piazzas like a dirty bathtub ring, but more cogent, smart, funny, and sometimes political, images. The ephemeral in the eternal city has caught my eye. Arresting as they are, these marks are easy to miss as you explore the rich texture of Rome; perhaps most tourists do not see these messages at all….
Now almost wherever I travel I find graffiti. People are taking more and more care to express what they have to say, often using elaborate stencils, many colours, careful drawing or collage to create their subversive messages.People have written on drawn forever on other people’s walls and monuments–the Coptics inscribed their unmistakable script on Egyptian temples, and etched their crosses deep into ancient pillars. Italian explorers and tourists back in the 1800s proudly and neatly inscribed their names high up on ancient monuments in exotic lands, wrote their names in smoke in painted prehistoric caves.
Collecting graffiti as I do year after year I wonder if perhaps I will begin to see some trajectory of ideas, some evolving conciousness in the places I visit. More likely, I will just enjoy myself snooping around back alleys and finding cryptic markings on persimmon coloured walls, and adding to my strange collection."
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