6D: The Brutality of Corporate Street Art

Corporate street art: widely considered by street artists as absolutely, positively taboo.  The reality of the situation is that corporations are looking to capitalize on the popularity of street art sweeping the nation. Incorporating street art into their latest advertising campaigns means injecting a sense of cool to their brands, giving them instant credibility with young adults.

However, while these multimillion dollar companies are busy exploiting the movement, they are intentionally killing the essence of street art and its culture. Street art was NEVER meant to be packaged, and sold – it’s an art form that stands on the merit of strong opinions. Exploiting it to sell products is wrong and completely destroys the essence of the movement.

That is the issue I have with corporate street art.

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5C: Street Art: A Visual Voice for the People

When people are unhappy with their government, they voice their concerns by forming strikes, rallies and other similar forms of protest. Some even take their opinions to social media sites in order to inform and garner support. How do street artists protest? They take it to the streets, literally. By using everything in their creative arsenal: stickers, posters and spray paint to communicate their message – their approach is much more effective as they target areas of the city that receive the most foot traffic. When the work is established it’s seen by thousands as if it were the Bat-signal.

Due to its ability to illustrate messages without the use of words, street art has become the “visual voice” for the people. There are many forms of expression available to street artists, we’ll take a look at the most popular ones deployed in city streets.

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4C: The Dilemma with Reverse Graffiti

We all know what graffiti is. How it’s considered a crime for defacing public property but what about reverse graffiti? I’m sure once in your life you’ve taken your finger and doodled a picture from the dirty windshield of your parent’s car; that’s exactly what reverse graffiti is. Reverse graffiti is art that is created by literally removing dirt from surfaces. Its graffiti by means of subtracting dirt and creating a temporary image that can be scrubbed and washed away with ease.

Believe it or not, because of its unique attributes reverse graffiti has turned out to be one of the more highly debated topics in street art. Is it really considered illegal to remove dirt from surfaces? Of course not, but when the word ‘graffiti’ is attached to the act it’s immediately labeled as an illegal practice. This is the dilemma that has befallen reverse graffiti.

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Artist Feature: Edgar Mueller (Anamorphic Pavement Art)

You’ve probably seen his works before but one thing’s for sure, Edgar Mueller’s street art never fails to impress every time. Instead of traditional graffiti pieces, Mueller’s art shifts from building walls into pavement roads where he applies a great deal of perspective into his surreal paintings – giving the effect of a realistic 3D scene when viewed at a specific angle.

Hit the jump for more info and images of Mueller’s works.

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Tron Legacy: Aerosol Mural

Check out this beautiful aerosol mural (fancy name for a commissioned graffiti piece) by Toby Summerskill for the Walt Disney’s “Tron: Legacy” which came out in theatres a year ago. Defying the limits of the medium, Toby is able to narrate a fully fledged story by adding/removing elements of the mural and essentially creating a time-lapse mural unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. He also defies conventions and extends the piece into the viewer’s physical space as he extends the art outside the walls and into the roads.

This is just one of the many examples of street art being widely accepted in the public forum. I bet you never seen street art like this before! Enjoy!

Tron Legacy : Aerosol Mural from End of the line on Vimeo.

1E: The Dangerous Life of a Graffiti Artist

Graffiti Artist at work

So you think you have what it takes to be a graffiti artist? Consider this:

–       Are you quick on your feet?

–       Can you think fast in high-pressure situations?

–       The kicker (and this is a big one): Are you willing to spend time in jail?

Not everyone is destined to be a graffiti artist. It takes a lot of hard work, practice, and skill to be a capable and respected tagger. It’s not just about creating beautiful works of spray paint (although that’s a huge chunk of it), a tagger must also be quick and nimble, effective enough to successfully evade obstacles that are thrown their way. One small misstep, and they risk getting thrown in jail for vandalism and public indecency.

There are many factors that taggers go up against every single time they step out of the door in the dead of the night with their dark attire, athletic runners, and a backpack reeking of aerosol. Taggers expect that anything and everything will go wrong during their trip. There are so many dangers that I’ve dwindled the list down to the top six most dangerous factors that taggers might face every time they set out in the dead of the night and create works of street art.

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