Urban Rothko

Our September issue looks at Bert Danckaert, a Belgian photographer who captures scenes of urban walls marked by the movements of an unconscious public. Lacking an overall purpose or will, Danckaert sees that the patchy walls have become serendipitous compositions of unnoticed beauty.

Daniel Ginns, a recent graduate in London, has been documenting the similar qualities on London’s walls after the removal of graffiti. His series, Rothko Walls, capture scenes that are familiar across the world for their patchy repair — large scale pieces down to tiny tags are covered in poorly matched paints, leaving behind bizarre and unintentional geometric arrangements. We have all seen them, even if we have not all noticed them — a built up painterly exercise, as if the painter wishes to claim final victory over the unceasing graffiti.

Whatever the reason, the constant layering of graffiti, paint, graffiti, paint still results in city walls that are constantly changing in style and mood. Separate human wills, representative of the public and commerce, or public and government, that are battling over the ownership of our living spaces.

“The free floating geometric shapes are habitually only a slightly different shade of colour from that of the original wall. Layered on top of each other, they create imagery that could be considered reminiscent of the abstract expressionist painter, Mark Rothko.”


Daniel Ginns is an illustrator living in London.

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