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#79 Waterloo Graffiti Tunnel

December 5, 2011

This was there, once. Size of a wall. There'll be something else there now. Do you see?

Wait, this isn’t christmassy at all! But the Waterloo Graffiti tunnel will not be denied. It’s one of the arches that stretches under Waterloo Station, leading to Lower Marsh on the other side. It’s legal for anyone to do graffiti here – all you need is a spraycan.

There’s no website for it, not really, and no proper record of what gets created there. You just have to go and see for yourself. This year, you might have seen political stencils calling for revolution, intricate tags ten feet high, tributes to Amy Winehouse, photorealistic close-ups of stranger’s faces, trompe-l’oeil sections of the brick wall crumbling down to reveal the city behind it, or just a comedy obscene Simpsons piss-take (although technically, obscenity, racism and sexism aren’t allowed, and rarely feature.) Nothing lasts more than a week at the outside – it’s covered over in days, sometimes within hours. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done before; all that matters is what you put on the wall, for that brief time.

To put it simply, it’s what happens when you take the money out of art.

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