ART CREATED IN PUBLIC SPACES IS ALIVE AND WELL NOT ONLY IN FAR-REMOVED PLACES, BUT ALSO CLOSE TO HOME - AND IN SOME VERY DIVERSE FORMS SUCH AS MURALS, SCULPTURE OR INSTALLATIONS
“Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.” -"Banksy"
Graffiti & Street Art is the counter culture rebellion that turned into a worlwide phenemenON...
Graffiti is a dirty word. Right? Or so it might seem to many of us in our perception of this Italian word that originally meant to scratch designs on walls. The word has been used in English at least since the nineteenth century, before the advent of spray paint, and that fact reminds us that graffiti is not just an ACTIVITY OF DELINQUENT TEENAGERS.
From the culture jugernaught of New York City in the 1980's emerged what is now globally termed 'Street Art'. What seemed like a pretty grey, down and out, poor, margenalised area of mostly black and hispanic New York, birthed the most colourful art movement in the history of mankind! No other art-form has captured the minds, and attention of so many around the world like the graffiti markings on the walls of American cities like New York during the 1980's.
The terms "urban art", "guerrilla art", "post-graffiti" and "neo-graffiti" are also sometimes used when referring to artwork created in these contexts. Traditional spray-painted graffiti artwork itself is often included in this category, excluding territorial graffiti or pure vandalism.
"Graffiti is oft used not just to record, but also to make a statement. There is some unfortunate vandalism, to be sure. Yet there is also what we call street art, public art, guerrilla art. Street art is technically definable, usually referring to unsanctioned art that is produced in public spaces, but since that definition does not really speak to medium, genre, or materials, then we realize that street art is boundless in its possible range." (Elyssa Jechow)
"It is a fine line to walk between vandal and street artist. Unlimited by the demands of the commercial art market, impervious to the imposition of censorship, and unaffected by the availability of funding, street artists appropriate the urban landscape as their canvas and confront the rare and most coveted opportunity that is complete creative freedom. In some cases, this leads to a blatant defacement of public property. However, in the right hands, this opportunity can lead to culturally penetrating results." (Alexandra Holness) Street art is often motivated by a preference on the part of the artist to communicate directly with the public at large, free from perceived confines of the formal art world. Street artists sometimes present socially relevant content infused with esthetic value, to attract attention to a cause or as a form of "art provocation".
Street artists often travel between countries to spread their designs. Some artists have gained cult-followings, media and art world attention, and have gone on to work commercially in the styles which made their work known on the streets. As graffiti culture took root in Australia, regional styles evolved, and in Melbourne a distinctive "wild style", complete with suburban varieties, emerged. The deep desire to bring forth vibrant colour, with spirit, to the streets, and discarded grey places of the world has driven the phenomenon to command respect as a legitimate form of art, as Street Art, in every market around the world.
While the art forms charm still lies in its counter culture roots, today graffiti and street art can enhance spaces as diverse as galleries, cafes & bars, major music and sporting events, and has also found itself plastered on some of largest clothing and brand movements ever like Stussy, Vans, Ecko Ltd, G-Unit, and even Chanel. Whereas traditional graffiti artists have primarily used free-hand aerosol paints to produce their works, "street art" encompasses many other media and techniques, including: LED art, mosaic tiling, murals, stencil art, sticker art, "Lock On" street sculptures, street installations, wheatpasting, woodblocking, and yarn bombing. New media forms such as projection onto large city buildings are an increasingly popular tool for street artists
the bench is proud to be at the forefront of graffiti and street art culture, in all its forms, now, and in the bright, colourful future ahead for this exciting art form.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE STREET ART SCENE & CULTURE WHY NOT CHECK OUT SOME OF THE SITES BELOW!