The Street Art Movement
Street art, guerrilla art, urban art, or graffiti has become a mainstream style. The POLITICS of the art style takes an anti establishment stance with artist messages that range from mocking politics and consumerism to raising awareness of environmental issues. Often thought provoking, created to be accessible not hidden, many pieces are eagerly sought by collectors and celebrities fetching high prices.
Banksymania and The Banksy Effect
The Banksy phenomenon, he’s a household name but no one knows who he is.
From austere beginnings out of Bristol England in the 1990’s to inclusion in Time Magazine 2010 World’s 100 Most Influential People List just about everyone knows his name.
Lately he’s been working from home
Exit Through the Gift Shop, the first film directed by reclusive street art legend Banksy, is a little puzzle-box of a documentary. It’s perfectly designed and pitched to be enjoyable on multiple levels: on one as an entertaining, illuminating mini-history of “street art” and on another – one entirely more convoluted and entertaining – as a light-hearted “up yours” to both street artists and their patrons.
“I always appear behind a mask. As such, I can visit my own exhibitions without any visitors knowing who I really am even if I stand a few steps away from them.”
Street Art Blogs
Street art encompasses a variety of art forms. Guerrilla art, urban art and graffiti are all “street art.” You can’t call it underground because it’s created in public spaces for public viewing, but there’s definitely an underground vibe to appreciating the influence it has on the art scene.
What began as graffiti and vandalism has evolved into guerrilla art produced to make a statement or to beautify an area, typically urban. Despite the risks and challenges of installing art in public spaces, creating art in this manner enables artists to reach an audience beyond the guardianship and closed doors of the gallery world.
Street art goes beyond graffiti’s spray paint with expression in other media like stencils, stickers, tiling, even LED art. Sometimes the jolt of street art is delivered by where it shows up as opposed to what it may say.
Isn’t it ironic that art is always eluding restriction? Keith Haring a New York City street artist from the 80’s began putting up works on an unattended wall in the Bowery. Other artists followed, as well as the fame of the wall. The wall later became privately “managed” open to artists by commission or invitation only.
These days there are artists who have become well known for their work with international acclaim making the transition from the street to the mainstream. Famous artists like Shepard Fairey are huge commercial successes working closely with corporate designers in high profile commercial projects. Funny how the rebels have come full circle, isn’t it?
Thanks to Banksy you now have a great reason to visit Europe, to take a street art tour! People want to understand and appreciate the art form. Go for it. There’s much to appreciate. Learn the history of the various styles, the artists, where their works can be found, where it’s all going, and the $64,000 question, where can I buy some, and how much is it!?
Graffiti can be cryptic with symbols and wild letters converging in a kaleidoscope of color with hidden messages. Street art wears the white hat with messages that appeal to all. Despite the differences, the objective of gaining recognition is a common denominator.