The magic of graffiti art on ageing buildings

I was stopped in the middle of my usual ‘A to B‘ type of walk by a magnificent sight that laid itself right in front of me like a beautifully framed painting. All I needed was a camera to catch this moment, and alas, I realised it’s been left at home, safely tucked away in that annoyingly large bag, the main reason I don’t hang it by my hip everywhere I go.

I’m one of those people that finds mobile phones quite unnecessary, but would gladly save up for a state-of-the-art phone with the best camera the world has to offer. I’m certain you’re able to sympathise with me about the practicality of professional cameras if you’re a fellow photographer; there’s nothing more satisfying than gazing through the lens and holding that beautifully chunky body while zooming in with a simple turn of your wrist. The whole process feels like some sort of visual poetry!

However, there would be nothing better than the latest phone with a kickass built-in camera when it comes to unexpected moments of photographic perfections begging to be caught on camera and all you can do is accept that nagging annoyance at yourself for leaving the real-deal camera at home. In such cases, smaller equals perfection.

To step away from ranting about camera practicality, the streets of Maribor looked uncomfortably empty on that snowy February afternoon which helped focus my attention on the narrow (borderline abandoned) side alleys that make a regular appearance in the old part of the city. These ageing buildings in the area called Lent are an ensemble of wide cracks on the walls and graffiti attempts, some better than others. Time has added a certain charm to the alleys that twist, turn and hang as they please all the way down to the Drava river. This doesn’t come as a surprise when we take into account that the oldest vine in the world has been standing strong just around the corner for over 400 years.

It is in this part of Maribor that my love of old and abandoned infrastructure stepped up to a whole new level. I got my kicks just by peeking through smashed basement windows close to the pavement and smelling the buildings’ old age in the air. It gave me the feeling of complete peace embedded with nostalgic memories, impossible to recall, from an era long before my existence.

A big proportion of the buildings are not actually abandoned, it’s only the outside mask of deterioration that tricks us into believing so. The photo I took of that perfectly eerie setting exudes such magic to me; it’s a dark and abandoned alley with what looks like a lifeless graffiti-clad building, but the light shines brightly through the window, as a statement to the contrasting decay that surrounds it. The light prevails.

The Light Prevails

See more of my photographs featuring abandonedĀ buildings here.