Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Street Art Debate

In one of many endless debates about what makes good art, I have found that some old school Graffiti artists are calling into question the validity of the new breed of Urban Sticker/Stencil artists.

"90% of the stickers we see are pointless (and no, thatÂ’s not a good enough point.). Most of the time, they look like ads." say the pundits at streetartblows.com. So they have a campaign of stickers (notice the irony in that) proclaiming "Keep your art to yourself next time."

On their website they talk about how "street art has become the annoying little brother to graffiti" and how "designing a poster or a sticker with your image on (sic), having 500 made and putting them up is not a challenge......quit stepping on graffitiÂ’s toes, there are new challenges and new directions you can to go in."

It all seems like a lot of over analyzation of a bunch of kids bucking the system and doing things to have fun (although illegal). Graffiti didn't start out as an artform and to try to regulate good and bad on the street seems a little silly.


Anonymous said...

More kids have computers these days and so it's easy for more people to put together "things that look like ads."

But there's cross-pollination going on here that shouldn't make traditional graffiti people turn up their noses. One of the most interesting things I encountered in the graphic design computer lab of a local college a few years ago was a kid, about 19, who was using Photoshop to make illustration that looked dead like airbrushed street graffiti. Really beautiful stuff. And it was the first time he had ever touched Photoshop at all. He just took to the tool.

I agree with you that there's got to be a place for both, if there's a place for one.

robin.g said...

I am guilty of postering and stickering in the "hip" neighborhoods to promote myself or a friend's band. I like it; it adds a free-art asthetic to the streets, and if someone doesn't like that stuff, they can choose to not livein those areas. I also am a huge fan of street art and graffiti, especially in Brooklyn, NY.

Anonymous said...

The only so-called "street art" I'm sick of is the Andre the Giant/Obey junk. It's totally played out! Those things need some serious attention from the streetartblows people. Maybe that's the kind of stuff they have in mind since it reeks of inauthentic marketing vacuousness?
Stencilled spray images is an old steet tactic, what's the fuss over that? Plus, I like meaningless stickers made by teenagers.
Overall their web manifesto reeks of arrogant, youthful self-righteousness. Oh, well.

Anonymous said...

". . .if someone doesn't like that stuff, they can choose to not live in those areas."

You inflict your idea of art on everyone in the neighborhood and if they don't like it they can leave? Charming. Where can I get some of those stickers?

robin.g said...

No, the neighborhoods that I "inflict" my street art on are the places that already have tons of it and anyone moving there already knows it; Williamsburg Brooklyn, Lower East Side, Manhattan... it is what it is, an artsy neighborhood with a street art asthetic.

robin.g said...

And the OBEY GIANT stuff is really quite the opposite of marketing vacuousness... they aren't even marketing anything.

Sean Dicken said...

Obey isn't marketing anything? That might have been true 10 years ago, but take antoher look- They're a consumer brand name pasting name recognition everywhere (and I suspect that was always it's purpose). It was cute when it was guerilla art, but I now consider it advertising since they started selling stuff under the "Obey" brand... Posters, clothing, skateboard decks, iPod cases, belt buckles, keychains, stickers. Now it's just annoying.

Stencil art is great. As are sculpted appliques.

Pisa lean said...

i think everyone would hate me and my friends ahaha