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Street Art/ Definition

Street art is an original type of art that we can find only in the streets. Many people don’t recognize this artwork like art and sometimes people relate this art with vandalism. STREET ART includes different kinds of terms, for example, graffiti artwork, stencil graffiti, sticker art, wheat pasting and street poster art…

The artist usually tries to leave the same kind of message like political issues, feelings, their emotions … And these expressions are exposed in the street where all the people can enjoy and evaluate them. Usually the people who do it are anonymous and we can refer to any person when we admire one of their works of art.

Elki vandal 2
"Vandal" av Elki

What is Urban Art / Street Art?  

Street art is a form of artwork that is displayed in public on surrounding buildings, streets,  trains and other publicly viewed surfaces. Many instances come in the form of Guerrilla Art, which is intended to make a personal statement about the society that the artist lives within. The work has moved from the beginnings of graffiti and vandalism to new modes where artists work to  bring messages, or just beauty, to an audience.  

Some artists may use “smart vandalism” as a way to raise awareness of social and political issues,  whereas other artists use urban space as an opportunity to display personal artwork. Artists may also appreciate the challenges and risks that are associated with installing illegal artwork in public places. A common motive is that creating art in a format that utilizes public space allows artists who may otherwise feel disenfranchised to reach a much broader audience than other styles or galleries would allow.  

An invention that impacted street art  

The concept of aerosol probably goes as far back as 1790. The first aerosol spray can-patent was  granted in Oslo in 1927 to Erik Rotheim. Erik Rotheim was born in Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway. He established his own company in  Oslo and submitted an application for an aerosol spray can in October 1926. The can could dispense different fluids using a chemical propellant. The Norwegian patent was granted in June 1929. He filed the United States patent application on 30 September 1927 and it was approved on 7 April  1931.  

A bit about the history  

Any type of history is unique. What is more fascinating, when talking about art history? By the  end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, Street Art has evolved into complex  correlation forms of artistic expression. From graffiti, stencils, prints and murals, through large scale paintings and projects of artistic collaboration, to street installations- street art has found its  way into the core of contemporary art. 

The Stag- Martin Whatson
"The Stag" av Martin Whatson
Redd Bergen av ITPD
"Redd Bergen" av ITPD

Some of the earliest expressions of street art were certainly the graffiti which started showing up  on trains, cars and walls. This was the work of gangs in the 1920’s and 1930’s in New York City.   During the late 1960’s, Cornbread and a group of friends including Cool Earl started doing graffiti  in Philadelphia by writing their monikers on walls across the city. The movement spread back to  New York City and blossomed into the modern graffiti movement, which reached its peak in the  U.S. in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, and then spread to Europe. Blek le Rat, born Xavier Prou in Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris, in 1951, was one of the first graffiti  artists in Paris, and the originator of stencil graffiti art. After exploding in Europe, Graffiti Art began to spread around the world, and it was during this  period that such artists as TAKI 183 and Keith Haring rose in prominence in the street art world. 

Today the most controversial street artist in the world is Banksy. His works have become a  subculture in their own right. Banksy’s political statements and disruptive vision have impacted  cities across the globe at vital moments in modern history, provoking alternative viewpoints and  encouraging revolutions in the art world. His identity remains unknown, even after more than 30  years of involvement in the global graffiti scene. He has worked in many street art mediums and in  many styles, breaking down the boundaries and expectations of street art critics. His work includes  powerful, often controversial images, encouraging the rapid spread of his name and work across the  internet. 

Urban art in Europe became deeply rooted in the revolutionary practices of those who identified  with various subcultures linked to class, race, or gender during this era. From its early days, graffiti art evolved in several directions. Some artists began using stencils to create more elaborate works that would include portraits and landscapes, while others continued using spray paint to put up murals around their cities. Today the world can see this particular type of art moving to more significant development in the  history of street art. It shifted from the hit-and-run style of graffiti that was illegal and caused artists to be arrested for a more legitimate form of artistic expression.