Street Art Evolution Brings Artists Recognition

Street Art
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Street Art

Street art is typically perceived as another vulgar way for people, usually, teens or young adults, to vandalize property. This is similar to how a rebel child would break the rules in order to receive satisfaction in others distraught at their actions.

Common on abandoned properties or around old apartment complexes, street art is usually depicted as crude and illicit thanks to many drawn gang symbols and defacing of property. Although, many people fail to recognize there is a difference between graffiti and street art.

Graffiti is now becoming more fashionable, it suits the changing tastes and times of the community. Now that it is slowly being rebranded as aerosol art, a less derogative term, these artists and their renditions are slowly migrating from the crowded streets to major public art galleries.

Still, these artists are far and few in between. Even when some are recognized for their talents and paid to do what they love, this trend is only just beginning to generate an audience.

The number of street artists who sign their work with their real names is low. Even famous graffiti artists usually prefer to remain anonymous. Even though they are praised for their creation the artists usually remain anonymous due to how their work would still be seen as a crime or vandalism.

Nonetheless, artists do have fans of their work. When they connect it can lead to festivals, public plays, or carnivals that will feature their signed artwork. Nonetheless, the stigma does exist and promoter of the public displays are quick to point out that the events displaying commissioned graffiti artwork do not glorify the illegality of street graffiti.

Mural festivals are the best bet for street artists. In many places, street art and graffiti festivals have become popular through live art and music. As an event for all ages, the festivals have children activities along with music, and food.

Fortunately, in most cases, any artist has the opportunity to be chosen to decorate the city streets with their art. Whether it is an illustration or tag, if the artist decides to, their street art can tell a story.

One event took place In Manhattan’s Chinatown. A large-scale, public art project created a vibrant display for visitors and tourists to enjoy. Chinatown was temporarily transformed with the help of artist, Chen Dongfan, New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program and Public Space Unit, Chinatown Partnership, Fou Gallery, and ArtBridge.

Another was at the Smithsonian museum. The first commissioned graffiti mural is 4 feet long and it depicts the tradition of graffiti.

“We want to present the notion that individuality and portraiture might not be someone’s face or body,”
says Jobyl Boone. She is a graduate student and the museum’s graffiti guest curator. Boone also explains “graffiti tags function as self-portraits.”

Written by Brielle R. Buford
Edited by Cathy Milne


Smithsonian Magazine: Aerosol Art
Xinhuanet: Chinese artist’s street art attracts more visitors to New York Chinatown
SOUTHEAST ASIA GLOBE: Alex Face: ‘street art is a tool that small people can use to say what they want to say’

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Chris Christian’s Flickr Page – Creative Common License


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