The concept of art has continuously evolved since the Renaissance and Enlightenment movements of Europe between 14th and 17th centuries. Artistic works back in the day used to be inspired at studios, but gradually artists began drawing inspiration from the streets.
Street art comprises representations of ideas or mimicries in public places, such as building walls and pedestrian pathways. Graffiti was initially considered as vandalism, but has now evolved as contemporary art. Individuals who have dared to defy the norms took art to the streets to imitate controversial ideas, deride political statements or leaders and give a voice to the downtrodden.
Albeit street art has become widespread across countries, it pioneered during late 1960s, increasing rapidly during 70s and peaking during 80s. Since New York’s graffiti peak, street art has become an important mode of public expression. The modus operandi used by artists includes spray paints, stickers, stencils and yarn bombing.
Street art is differentiated from graffiti mainly because of the intention and end goal. Graffiti is considered vandalism because it is trespasses the rights of owners. Graffiti is often purposeless and created by delinquents who do not care about public property. Street art is created as a catalyst or social commentary. Street artists have a goal to raise awareness or create a mirror to the wrongdoings of a society. The purpose of street artists is to send a message and incite action.
There have been several individuals who took the step forward in leaving their mark on walls around the world. Banksy is the ultimate agent provocateur who has gone places with his graffiti, canvas painting and was also nominated for an Academy Award for his documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. Even though he has remained active since 1990s, his identity remains unknown. He uses satire and dark comedy to convey messages about art and politics.
Christina Angelina is another rare talent who is internationally acclaimed for her inspiration street art. Every artwork of hers is no less than magic and always has a story. Angelina usually depicts isolation and inscrutability in a way that transforms the streets.
Colette Miller has a unique take on how he perceives the world. His artwork is devoid of dark themes and negativity. Miller usually depicts themes of connection, peace and love for humanity across his work. His work makes us feel joyful and good about ourselves because he represents humans as nothing short of angelic. Although some people would perceive this as idealistic, his artwork instills goodwill and invokes people to be good and make the world a better place.
This goes on to show that street art is not always vandalism, and some remarkably talented individuals have used it as a medium to convey messages for betterment in a way that may not have been possible in other ways. The likes of these individuals have the power to move and mobilize society in a unique way. Street artists have the potential to transform seemingly dull walls into artwork that enchants and provokes people. When it is done the right way, street art can be an effective agent of change.