Saturday, 10 August 2013

Graffiti and Street Art - Master or Disasterpiece?

Graffiti is seen as either a mess, simply unsightly scribbles on the walls of the city or to others, an amazing concept, a pièce de résistance. But is it really vandalism? Should we blame a generation for expressing their feelings or should we embrace it; whether it conveys an angry or a positive message?

Agreed, some artwork is morbid and sometimes even disturbing, for instance when on the wall or your local shop the haphazard words 'death is near' scream at you, it may seem farfetched and often a little pointless. Except not all of it is this juvenile, a lot of it has taken time and thought. In urban environments, street art can often give the public something to contemplate, and potentially something they can relate to.

To produce a lot of the graffiti found in city centres, a stencil has to be drawn and cut out first. This is usually if an image is being rendered rather than just the words 'Fresh' or 'Cool'. Spray paint is also the most tempremental material to use on the planet. The street artists only get one chance to paint their canvas (since it's the walls of a city it doesn't rub off so well), yet there are rarely mistakes make in this type of art. It's a fearless way of expressing yourself, put out there for everyone to see.

Graffiti is accessible for all classes and ages, a rebellion against art being made only for big shots who can afford it in their homes. As a student you aren't likely to be able to afford the latest auction of the last painting Van Gogh ever created, so graffiti will have to do. There's no back breaking admission prices either. It's also most likely to have been done by someone the same age as you. Maybe they're crazy, maybe they love dogs, or perhaps they hate their mum and needed to write it on that streetlamp. Either way, its going to be there every time you walk past it, so you might as well get used to it.

Another thing to consider is how they manage to get onto the bridges on the motorway. Graffiti often covers all corners of underground walkways, surely the artists must be half spider monkey to reach the places they do? They must be determined in order to dangle over a busy street just to be bothered to write their name or possibly 'School's Out' upside down.

Whether you are a fan of street art or aren't really fazed by it, it's someone elses personal thoughts and feelings which they wanted to express, which they're probably proud of. If it looks cool then that's half the battle and it might make a good cover photo for your Facebook page. Search 'Street Art Anarchy' on Facebook and Instagram for updates about new contemporary street art all over the world. Street art could help you design your tattoo you've wanted for so long. Oh, and if you're not familiar with Banksy's work, you need to look at it. Now.


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