Anderson Issues

Commentary on the Zeitgeist

Street Art

Posted by jritchie on September 24, 2012

If you stop and take a look at the recent developments in the arts in the last few decades, you’ll find yourself in a maze of crazy things. From that ridiculous new modern art to those abstracts that a four year old painted, there’s plenty of new things to look at. One style in particular has caught the eyes of thousands, as if they actually had a choice, because it’s displayed on their city’s streets every day. Street Art. Usually at least slightly illegal, this statement art has many famous artists and is picking up major momentum and inspiring people around the world. 

I bet everyone here has heard of Banksy. He is probably the most famous street artist, still anonymous to the public, probably because his pieces (see gallery here) are deeply controversial political and social commentaries, undoubtedly done illegally. But I guess that’s part of what makes it so fun. His work has been spotted in New York, London, and even the West Bank where he completed the Wall Project in protest of the wall dividing the area. His most common technique is spray paint with stencils, but he also uses wheat paste to plaster images to the walls. 

Another less popular method, but by absolutely no means less awesome, is the infamous Yarn Bombing. The yarn bombers somehow manage to make what seems like a perfect fitting suit of yarn and slide it over some significant landmark, even the bull in the business district in New York. The bright colors and patterns contrast beautifully with the dull buildings in the city, surely accomplishing what they were put there to do. 

One of the most beautiful forms of street art involves artists spending hours on top of hours drawing an entire new landscape into the street, creating the disorienting illusion of being somewhere else the second you step onto the street. I can hardly imagine the kind of talent it takes to make these amazing and realistic pieces. These artists spend so much time on their work, knowing that it will only be washed away or thrown in the trash, which is one of the things I love most about it. 





Another great thing about street art is that it isn’t limited at all. Artists can be as risque, as cliche, or as diverse as they want to. Because it is anonymous, nobody can truly criticize you for it. 

Here’s a quick clip of an artist being interviewed about his one of a kind street sculptures: 

One problem facing these artists today is whether or not their work should truly be considered art. With all of their effort and talent, and the simple risk of doing some of these pieces, it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t be considered art. I may just be a city lover, but graffiti and street art have always been beautiful to me. The mystery of not knowing who created it seems poetic in its own sketchy way. I mean, really. You never know, maybe catz4sale will appear on the side of some building in downtown Austin someday.
What do you think? Who are your favorite artists? Should this be considered a true form of art? 


12 Responses to “Street Art”

  1. foodisverydelicious said

    I’m not sure what it is about street art that makes it so darn intriguing, but for some reason it truly fascinates me. To some extent, there is more thrill to it than simply sitting down at a blank canvas and coming up with something to paint. You’re adding on to something humans have already built/created, such as a building, stone wall, or other various infrastructures, in a way that sends a clear message and is perceptive to everyone. Bansky in particular is one such street artist that truly captures the essence of the political and social controversies he aims to highlight, and is thus able to evoke strong emotion with each piece of art. I, for one, think this should most definitely be considered a form of art, whether or not it is legal. Breaking the rules doesn’t take away from the incredible talent that many of these artists have. And let’s face it: in a competitive society such as ours, isn’t this the easiest way for your work to be seen? I also admire the anonymity aspect of it. To think that someone can create an extraordinary masterpiece in the middle of their city and have hundreds of people see it everyday without ever knowing it was that person who made it is kind of mind-blowing but very cool.

  2. awall621 said

    I’ve seen this guy’s artwork before and the stuff he does is incredible, I love how he’s able to turn a flat surface into a three dimensional masterpiece. His ability to bend a sidewalk into an icy pitfall is something I could never even contemplate doing, I love admiring the work he’s done.

  3. biggiebiggiesmalls said

    I love this! I literally was about to start writing my blog post about street art.. I’ve always been a huge fan of any type of counterculture and artistic movements that work against the status quo. The notion of civil-disobedience that is prevalent among most street art is what I think makes it such a captivating movement. The landscape art is beautiful and unique, and undoubtedly takes quite a bit of mastery of the art. Love it! Mad respect.

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