“This is not Graffiti” Exhibit at Townhouse Gallery

It is easy to spot graffiti on the streets of Cairo.  Many walls and buildings, particularly around Tahrir Square and the well-off areas of Zamalek and Maadi, are covered in revolutionary slogans, images, and murals.

Now, the Townhouse Gallery in Downtown Cairo has turned the concept of public street art on its head, inviting nine relatively prominent graffiti artists to display pieces inside its warehouse space.

The pieces vary in style and substance.  A couple were clear protest pieces, displaying a tank crushing dissidents and coming after Christ, or a caricature of Qaddhafi above a Zebra.  Others ostensibly attacked the very idea of the exhibit.  Graffiti artist Sad Panda wrote the message, “Graffiti is street art, but this isn’t a street, you sons of dirty women.”

Across the street from the warehouse, Townhouse has set up four small rooms to do-it-yourself graffiti, inviting visitors to make their own art on the white walls using chalk and pencils.

Photos: Downtown, Cairo – September 19.  “This is not Graffiti” pieces by Keizer, Sad Panda, El Teneen, Adham Bakry, Dokhan, Hend Kheera, Hany Khaled, Charles Akl and Amr Gamal.  Across the street, the “Make your Mark” component of the exhibit hosts graffiti made by guests to the show.

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