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July 2009

You Say Street Art, I Say Graffiti. Let's Discuss.

Here is an article from the San Francisco Chronicle discussing the finer points of street art vs graffiti. As for me, I see little difference - unless you want to get nit picky. In my mind, graffiti is essentially spray paint while street art uses wheatpaste, stensil and stickers. However I think an argument can be made that says that graffiti is anything applied illegally or surreptitously in the environment while street art might be, like a commissioned wall mural, just another pices of art on the street. Read the article and decide.

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Water Art?

Mark Mawson has a new twist on an established idea. Splashing paint around has been a standard artistic approach ever since Jackson Pollock made his name with it in the 1950s. But by dropping the paint into water instead of onto a canvas, Mawson has arrived at a startlingly new look. The 41-year-old, from London, has been taking pictures for 22 years but only recently came up with the eye-catching way of creating stunning and beautiful abstract forms at random. His work has concentrated on underwater scenes and people, but now he takes different kinds of paint and drops them into a tank before snapping the outcome with his camera and using a strobe to light up the weird and wonderful forms. Different paints have different weights so a combination of paints creates differing effects. They are mysterious and beautiful. Read more.

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ArtSlant Reports on Great Paris Graffiti Show

Happy Bastille Day! What better way to celebrate the revolution than with a celebration of street art - art of the masses! This link to ArtSlant offers a great article on a Paris gallery graffiti show. Paris has been an especially great place to exhibit street art as JonOne's exhibit at the Magda Danysz Gallery will attest. Whenever I think of the French Revolution I can't help but think of my most favorite play. If you haven't read or seen Marat / Sade, you are missing out on a bit of great revolutionary theater. Here is a link to the book. The DVD appears to have been discontinued.

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Street Theater as Street "Art"

I have recently discovered a street theater company who perform free for the public on the streets of New York City. Shakespeare in the Parking Lot is a troupe of accomplished actors who perform Shakespeare plays in a municipal parking lot on Ludlow Street and Broome Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. This is street art in a performance form - gritty, loud, expert and daring. Bring your own chair and catch them Thursdays - Saturdays starting at 8pm.

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Glam Cams

Jill Magid decorates police cameras and calls them "Glam Cams". It is a great example of street art, akin to yarnbombing. Here is an Introduction to her work: I seek intimate relationships with impersonal structures. The systems I choose to work with- such as police, secret services, CCTV, and forensic identification, function at a distance, with a wide-angle perspective, equalizing everyone and erasing the individual. I seek the potential softness and intimacy of their technologies, the fallacy of their omniscient point of view, the ways in which they hold memory (yet often cease to remember), their engrained position in society (the cause of their invisibility), their authority, their apparent intangibility− and, with all of this, their potential reversibility.

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