Hip Hop: A Way of Life: Stok

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In order to widen the scope of my journey into Hip Hop I have recently been in contact with Liverpool based graffiti artist Stok.

Stok is easily the most prolific and recognisable graffiti artist in the city and his images have received wide coverage in the media. Due to the nature of his work, Stok was reluctant for me to photograph his face. This presented a problem, as I didn’t think that I would be able get humanist perspective I am interested in purely with photographs of his work.

Happily, Stok contacted me last week to ask if I would photograph some private commissions he had undertaken. We met at his flat and then spent the afternoon touring Liverpool, visiting kids’ bedrooms that he has decorated. While these image are a move away from the “straight” documentary style I have been using so far, I do feel that convey the message of what Hip Hop is about. Whatever one may think about graffiti in public places, the work Stok has produced here say nothing of violence, greed, misogyny or destruction. I found myself asking what child would not be delighted to return home and find that their room has been individually decorated and in such a personal style.

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