What Exactly is Street Art? - Definition & Culture

    Street art is a unique but popular type of art you can only find on the streets. This artwork is often misunderstood as art, and people sometimes mistake it for vandalism. Different terms can be used to describe street art. Some various different types of street art are graffiti artwork, stencil graffiti, sticker art, and street installations. 

    Street artist's usually attempt to convey a consistent message, sometimes its a tag and other times its artwork with deep political meaning. These expressions are displayed on the streets so that everyone can see them and evaluate them.

Street Art

 "Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable" - Banksy 

What Is Street Art? 

    What most people call street art is a distinct form of the wall writings. It dates back to modern times to the war on gangs in New York City in 1920s and 1930s. Name-based tags and primitive graffiti began to appear on streets marking territory controlled by the gangs. 

    Similar urban conditions led to murals being introduced into Southern California's cities. Street art has a long history in New York City and Philadelphia. New York City was in a difficult time in the 1960s and was close to bankruptcy. 

Street Art Invader

 Invader / credit: HipParis 

    Most often, street artists are usually anonymous for legal reasonings, street artists are sometimes sued for their work. It's important to know, not all street artists are anonymous, many established street artist are ask to make street art and will be paid for doing it. Quite different from when they used to make street art avoiding being arrested.

    Shepard Fairey is an example of this, he used to illegally make street art in Los Angeles, things are much different now. He's an established well-known street artist, and because of this brands, cities and more ask him to create work for them. 

Street Art Shepard Fairey

Kiss Me Deadly - Shepard Fairey  

Graffiti vs Street Art 

    It can be hard to draw the line between graffiti art and street art. Intent is the most important distinction. Street art can be commissioned. However, graffiti is usually sanctioned. Cities often consider graffiti spraying vandalism. 

    The difference between the two art forms is that graffiti is visual and more abstract, while street art is more focused on imagery and graphic design elements. Graffiti is a text-based medium and requires tagging or lettering to be able to identify its subject. Graffiti art has a long history of being associated with punk and hip-hop subcultures.

Where Did Street Art Start

   Originated in the United States from New York City and Philadelphia, it is now widely spread throughout the globe. In the 1980s, graffiti and street art was able to make its way into museums and galleries.

    This was at a time when Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, both from New York, gave legitimacy to this realm. Their works moved from the streets into fine art. The art form has been accepted as a cultural phenomenon and has held its place in the art world ever since. 

Street Art Keith Haring

 Credit: Keith Haring Foundation

   Street art is one of the most popular art movements and continues to grow in popularity, especially as of recent. Street art is most common in urban areas, as well as public places such exterior walls of buildings, bridges, and highway overpasses. 

    The digital space has placed quite an influence on street art's transformation. Street artists who started their career with spray cans, have begun to explore other innovative and inspiring methods.


Disclaimer: This Article is NOT investing or financial advice, we're sharing our opinion respectfully from a speculative point of view. 


Banksy Guides Shepard Fairey Street Art

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