Written by Anastasia & Sara
Street Art is the definition used by media that encapsulates all those art forms that appear in public places. It is an open expression of the thoughts and identity of the artist. This type of art is full of energy, rebellion and desire and is a channel to express feelings in a way that reaches beyond the boundaries of normal society.
Street Art is subdivided into:
- Graffiti, which originally consisted of written and single words and subsequently
became a composition of drawings and written expressions
- Tags, which is the artistic name of the writer
- Murals: paintings realised on a wall surface
The history of Street Art: Some of the earliest expressions of street art were the graffiti which started showing up on the sides of train cars and walls. This was the work of gangs in the 1920s and 1930s in New York. The impact of this subversive culture was particularly felt in the 1970s and 1980s. Soon, this subcultural phenomenon gained the attention and respect of the ‘grown-up’ world. From the fingers and cans of teenagers, it had taken a form of true artistic expression. Essentially an illegal activity, a process of creation through destruction began its evolution into numerous forms of artistic expression which found its way into galleries and the global art market. This is not just a story about graffiti. Although street art owes a part of its glory to this kind of artistic expression, it is a marvellous art form in its own right in the 21st century.The evolution of street art became evident through such artists as Banksy, who transformed views of this art form with his documentary Exit through the gift shop (link: https://youtu.be/GSz7kq0Qo7o).
“Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – it’s wet.”
― Banksy, Wall and Piece
At the beginning Street Art was used to make social, cultural and political protests and to free people from capitalistic society.
Street art is not only a matter of protest but also has the ability, just like every other form of art, to evoke a set of emotions that you never thought were possible to have
towards an inanimate object. In this sense, street artists are training us to see beyond the landscape and into the potential of our landscape. It invites us to interact and respond to our surroundings. More than this, it teaches us that anything we experience, we can truly make our own.
Whether it’s art or vandalism depends on what drives the writer to draw in a public place. Many critics argue that street art is an act of vandalism, centred on the fact that most street artists don’t seek permission from owners of property before scrawling their work onto walls. On the one hand, street art is often an aesthetic enhancement and adds to a neighbourhood’s local flavour. On the other hand, many street artists don’t have the authorisation to create the piece, which therefore renders it vandalism.
Whether or not street art is ‘legal’ remains an issue. Los Angeles, often at the forefront of intellectual property issues, recently passed a new murals ordinance making street art legal if you pay for a permit, get permission from the location, and publicly post your intentions. In Rome this project is still in development and it’s called Urban Act. The purpose of the project is to limit the phenomena of vandalism, which often disfigures historical walls and monuments, while at the same time nurturing the creativity of street artists. (link: http://www.urbanact.it/)Graffiti’s stance as art or the result of a criminal act is directly linked to the integrity of a street artist’s work. If considered art, these creative works would likely be shielded under the Visual Arts Right Act (VARA). VARA protects the work of visual artists from intentional distortion, mutilation or other modification.
Our opinion is that art is anything which gives us an emotion. We can’t say what it is or is not, we just feel art.So street art is an art just like painting, drawing, music or photography. Art is a kind of freedom, which means it doesn’t have any rules. Writers use it to tell people what words can’t say. We adore the concept of liberal expression and working outside the confines of traditional channels in a spontaneous manner, There is something essential about this, something that is fundamentally important. A little unromantically, however, we also realise that there must be a line drawn at some point that respects others and even private property.
In conclusion, we need to be free to express ourselves but a degree of regulation is necessary, not least to ensure we get high quality art!