Street is canvas and a huge stage
Recently, two stencil graffiti pieces decorated the big red door of Fashion Workshop. We decided to start looking for the artist because we wanted him to paint another wall. After announcements through social media we found him. In a quick chat with him, I realized I had never met a street artist before and that I did not know anything about it.
“Life takes action in the streets. That’s why many artists not only are inspired in the streets, but they also develop their art close to real people”, he said. They have managed to entertain and communicate social issues through an unconventional but true way. The two types of street art contain visual and performing art even though many people consider only graffiti as street art.
“Street art is all art on the street that is not graffiti”, John Fekner, multimedia and street artist
Some might think that street artists only want to vandalize the city. However, this is not the case. In an answer to the daily pressure we receive from the society, and especially now with the economic crisis, streets are the only place an artist can express himself and his personal artwork, where he can raise awareness on social and political issues. Demonstrating his work in a public place engages a wide audience to reach and teach. You can’t do that in galleries and stages.
Visual art is the most well-known and common street art form. Painting, sculpture and stencil, video projections, art intervention and street installations are all included. Street performance is much different mainly because it involves acrobatics, clowning, comedy and street theatre. The artists perform in exchange of money or goods e.g. food, beverages, even smoke. You can find it all over the world and no one is sure when or where it begun. Many big artists, such as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez, have started their careers performing on the streets. The same happens with artists like Bon Jovi, who performs at streets, sometimes even for charity. Across the universe, artists of all kinds express themselves on the streets.
Of course, there are some talented artists who play all kinds of music in public transportation. You must have seen them in ISAP train. “Music Under New York” is a program organized by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Arts for Transit Office, that increases the attractiveness of the transit. Many talents have been explored in the annual spring auditions the office prepares, and many well-known celebrities have performed under the city. An example is hip hop singer Jessie J.
Talking to Pol, the graffiti artist who redesigned the red door at FWBVK, I realized what is so interesting about street art: it reminds us that beauty and art can be found anywhere, if only we open our eyes and let our imagination fly.