What is Street Art? Definition, Characteristics, and Example

What is the issue that we’re facing? What are the possibilities in defining what is street art? It is possible to argue that this is a problem for art historians or theorists.

But the first group of scholars is in need of a distance in time as there must be an eminent and defined time that has an origin, the climax, and a perspective for the future to determine an art form.

In the case of sociologists and cultural theorists, It is always an issue that is related to the cultural context, an issue of identity-related deliberation, or the reflection on complicated social structures and their semiotic interpretation.

However, none of this it doesn’t mean that we can’t think about what the meaning of street art is. One could say it is a form of expression that is definitely an expression of art however, surely, it’s more than that… It could be it is an art form that is its own thing.

There is no doubt that street art has become an integral part of contemporary art. Perhaps, the issue we face isn’t what street art is, but rather, how it becomes a thing and, most importantly, what can it do from this point?

Definition of Street Art

Street art is a form of art that is created in public spaces to increase visibility for the public. It is often associated with some of the following terms “independent art”, “post-graffiti”, “neo-graffiti” and”guerrilla art”.

Street art sometimes can be mentioned as 2D art.

Art on the street is evolving from earlier forms of graffiti to more commercial forms of art. One of the primary differences is in the messages.

Street art is usually intended to provoke thought and not be a source of rejection for the general public by making its intent more apparent than graffiti.

The issue of permission has been at the root of street art. Since graffiti is often performed illegally, while street art is now the result of an agreement or sometimes a request for permission.

But, it is distinct from traditional art displayed in public spaces because of its explicit use of the space during the creation phase.

Street Art Characteristics

What is Street art and history of Street art

Street art is usually made in public areas and typically conveys a strong social or political message.

Street art has historically been linked to the breaking of traditional customs regardless of themes or artistic styles.

Artists typically include elements of graffiti into their work and often add large bubble letters or decorative scripts. Time and scale are typically crucial in the creation of street art, due to the fact that most pieces are made in a way that is illegal.

A lot of artists employ stencils and spray paint to cover large areas such as walls within a short time.

Some are looking for innovative approaches to art rather than using things like posters and stickers, yarn as well as video projections to leave footprints on the urban environment.

Street Art History

Street art has its roots in the radical practices of people who were a part of various subcultures that were linked to race, class, or gender.

In the 1970s and the 80s, New York City witnessed the graffiti boom, which was a time that artists who were influenced by hip-hop, rap punk, and the new wave countercultures were seen on the streets to interact with the members of their own private communities.

They spray-painted stylized letters on public places (walls bathrooms, walls subway trains). The technique evolved as artists tackled contemporary social and political issues, and also included new visual elements in their work.

Street art often emphasized an ideological message, often an expression of opposition, but was able to exhibit art in unconventional locations.

Museums and galleries have also shown an interest. In 2011, for instance, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles held the first major U.S.

museum study that focused on the art of the street. While there’s still a controversy over whether it is vandalism or art, street art has gained an impressive following in recent times.

Until this stage, we have already made a great explanation about what is street art. Complete with its characteristics and history. Please let me know which one is still not clear.


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