Paint Your City’s Story with Street Art

Do you live in a city? If your answer is yes, you’re probably familiar with street art, whether it’s in the form of a mural on a bleak wall or an installation piece left by some clever artist.

 

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It’s said that many people who live in cities are detached from any form of community or shared experience, due to their isolated lifestyles. Cities, for the most part, are spaces where strangers live amongst each other but lead separate lives. It is within this urban backdrop that street art has taken shape, a form of art that seeks to establish some form of familiarity in a place that spearheads isolation and privacy.

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What is Street Art?

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Some say that the origins of street art date back to the history of man itself. Examples of primal forms of street art are the ones seen in caves that people used to inhabit during the ice age. However, it was only formally brought to light within the last decade, when artists decided to form a hard line between street art and graffiti. Street art, like any form of art, adapts a standard of thoughtfulness and craftiness.

It comes in these forms:

  • Traditional (paint)
  • Stickers
  • Street posters
  • Stencil
  • Video projections
  • 3D installations

 

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Street art is often humorous and catchy, but it is not without a certain sense of social awareness. Since public spaces are highly visible to the community, street artists expect their artworks to reach a vast audience and initiate dialogue and debate. Common subjects include anti-war protests and anti-capitalist ideologies.

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Street Art vs. Vandalism

street-art-By-Sainer-from-Etam-Crew.-On-Urban-Forms-Foundation-in-Lodz-Poland-2.jpgStreet artists use any form of canvas they choose without permission—be it the gray asphalt, the sidewalks or the back alleys. This is why most people view street art as vandalism, a crime punishable by law. Large amounts of money are spent by city governments to clean up graffiti in the neighborhood in order to restore cleanliness and “order” in the vicinity.

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But most street artists do not view their work as a form of vandalism. Vandalism is blatant destruction to property, but street art, if successful, should have positive effects to the community. This is why street artists have decided to differentiate their work from thoughtless and unsightly forms of graffiti that say nothing sensible like “Mike was here,” or “Kate and Eric forever.”

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Some communities allow positive forms of street art to brighten up the city landscape. In fact, some street artists have been commissioned by local governments to design some parts of the city. Furthermore, art critics, auctioneers and museums are slowly accepting it as a real art form and are now forming technical terms to describe the various aspects of street art.

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Street Art as Public Voice

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Street art serves as a vehicle for the public voice because it’s free, unrestricted and rebellious. It connects strangers to one another by showing that although their lives are different, they can feel the same passionate feelings towards various subjects.

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Street-Art-in-Caseros-Buenos-Aires-Argentina-1.jpegStreet art is not a form that fits snugly in stiff museums because it does not adhere to the common standards of what art is. Though many artworks in the streets are good enough for private display, that’s not where street art can fully exercise is potential. It was meant to broadcast messages that cannot be propagated in more conservative forms of media.

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street_art_37.jpgFor more information about all the photos used in this blog entry visit 
Street Art Utopia

Street art is always evolving and that’s why most artists argue that it will always be striking and new. It will never fully stick with what is familiar, because the styles and techniques that street artists use change over time. Needless to say, street art will always be contentious but it’s here to stay.

Can you tell us about the street art in your community?


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