Graffiti and gentrification: Lapizlota Stencil is the collective still using street art as an authentic political tool, but can we say that for street art in London?
In Central London, street art can be spotted in all nooks and crannies, from the tiles of the underground to the sides of skyscrapers. A spray of colour from a clicking can has become part of our capital's identity, brightening up our oh so often overcast skies. Though, with this in mind, has our familarity with street art made us forget that it's a visual communication, embedded in protest? Are we now unaware of the social commentary of street art?
This spring, Rich Mix Cultural Foundation hosted an exhibition entitled Democracia real ya!, meaning real democracy now, by the street art collective Lapiztola Stencil. This group of artist activists derive their name from the Spanish words for pen and gun - a plain to see symbol for art with political purpose.
Rosario Martinex Llanguno and Roberto Vega of Democracia real ya! explained how social injustice in Mexico was at the root of their genesis:
"It was the government's oppression of the teacher's strikes in 2006 that inspired us to come together as a group of artists" - Roberto Vega
Images: Lapizlota Stencil