I love urban art: sometimes called street art, sometimes called graffiti. I’ve never been inclined to do it myself but to me it is wonderful gentle form of anarchy. A way to scuff the shoes of Mr. Charley.
No wall was safe in art school. The janitors just left things where they were. I went to school in New York and it was everywhere: but was in its new, raw stage: mostly ugly tags and chaotic scrawling.
One day I came across an outline of a figure on the sidewalk with a “blood stain” inside it. I thought, “How clever and fabulous”. There were a few more here and there. I loved them. (By the way; the chalk outline scenario you see on TV is a myth.)
Then one day I was in the subway and I saw a simple outline drawing that I thought was pretty cute. That early art piece turned out to be done by then not-so-famous Keith Haring.
Street art has become legitimate now, with artists who once hid in the shadows having their work in galleries. Some street artists bristle at that. They say their art is not for sale and they continue to come out at night and paint their message. Others are commissioned to paint the insides or outsides of buildings, or other public places.
To me some of this art tends to be too pretty and acceptable: too “corporate”. this happened to Haring who in my opinion, sold out. His art became commercial, and he even started using minions to paint his canvases for him.
I have no problem with artists evolving. That’s what we are supposed to do. But don’t lose your message. It’s okay to keep your corporate clients happy, but remember to post your real message somewhere it can be seen and appreciated.
Here are some of the ones I like.
Most of these have a written message. I will show other styles in another post.