Ghent is a very creative Belgian city where street art is quite common. The artists produce more than just the typical tagging you can see on the side of old rail cars however – some of the work is actually quite impressive, especially when I consider what little control I have over a can of spray paint.
One of the most famous streets to see this street art is Werregarenstraat, where artists can take advantage of their vast concrete canvas to create whatever they wish. Not surprisingly, the art is thus never the same one week to the next.
Nicknamed as “Graffiti Street”, Werregarenstraat is in a rather unusual location. This living, breathing, outdoor street art gallery is neighbours with what appears to have once been a monastery.
The artists have tried to include the monastery’s courtyard in with their work as well – the metal fence is an array of all colours imaginable.
Werregarenstraat is a festival of colour. It is bright, it is unapologetic, it clashes, and there are conflicting styles all over. You have no idea where to look first.
For someone who spends a lot of time in traditional art galleries and museums, Werregarenstraat was a refreshing sip of cool water. With this art, there are no rules to follow or juries to impress. This was making art simply for the sake of making art.
My favourite piece of the “gallery” was one of two antelopes butting horns. One antelope appears to be a machine in disguise.
What did the artist want to say? Is this nature vs man? Nature vs industry? Are we believing we are fighting one thing when really we are fighting something else? Maybe all three.