long gone is the peculiar and hugely creative period of the late 70’s and early 80’s when those indulging in the forbidden art of graffiti were forced to lurk and sneak around the empty trash cans and rusty staircases of the Manhattan alleyways; the time when the edgy soundtrack of the underground New Wavers rocked the subways, and the groove of the early hip-hop from the Sony boombox gave the backbeat to their creative endeavors
Welcome to the street art gallery, where the dirty urban setting and once-loathed is the object of adoration! These are 10 graffiti artists that make our world a better place, compiled by My-Picture.co.uk.
A Piece of Solidarity
Vulpes Vulpes finished this one illegally with the help of the locals. A simple, single-color statement that conveys yet another of the man’s politically complex views. Where’s the solidarity? The pack of foxes unites as if devouring a piece in equal parts. A self-proclaimed anarchist with a penchant for all things fox-related (Vulpes Vulpes is Latin for the red fox), the artist likes to keep his feet dipped in both sides of the law. Some of his murals are legal, whilst some are hidden-from-the-view easter eggs depicting contemporary issues. This one is dedicated to the economic recession.
A true “wall art” as such, this one, like so many other graffiti creations these days, toys around with dimensionality. This time created within the boundaries of art, it was a collaborative effort between Aakash Nihalani and Know Hope, both of whom, as we can clearly see, highlight only the best of each other’s artistry. Created as a part of the SCOPE Art Show (a global art fair taking place in Basel, Miami, and New York), this is legitimate canvas print material!
You would be really surprised to know how many of the New York-based street art virtuosos have graduated from the prestigious Pratt Institute (Leon Reid IV and Cake, to name a few). Writing the paper in the wee hours because the better part of the night was spent parkouring through the urban barriers while escaping cops? It may be so, but it was definitely worth it. Willow approves and combines thousands of tiny brush strokes with the academic knowledge about shades and coloring that helps to coat those blood red bricks with beautiful surrealist imagery!
Utilising the Environment
The London-based Borondo picks his spots with a serious foresight! If you haven’t seen the famous painting by the great Salvador Dali or haven’t heard the myth, the long-story-short is that a very handsome thespian hunter named Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection on the surface of the water. Unable to grasp that it’s only an image and being powerless to its charms, Narcissus lost his willpower and succumbed to death whilst staring at his pretty self. Borondo does his interpretation of the narrative using the urban environment like no other.
No, it’s not graphic in that sense. It’s a genuine monochromatic graphic exercise by the Italian street artist 2501 (by now it’s clear that the street artists are capable of making up better nicknames than their pop music counterparts). Known for using both desolate slums somewhere in the Italian outskirts and world-renowned art galleries, 2501 twists his lines with amazing precision, creating narratives and characters that beautifully juxtaposes with facades of his urban and suburban canvases. In fact, there should be research done about the diversity of the graffiti traditions around the world, for it really seems that the geography affects the signature.
Bogotá has a very rich and distinct street art culture going on. They’re called Graffeteros, and locals are usually encouraging them to paint up their shop shutters or to embellish the facades of their houses. In fact, Bogotá even offers its visitors a Bogotá Graffiti Tour supervised by a legitimate local street artist. Bastardilla is rumored to be a member of the Animal Power Crew (APC – a “gang” of Bogotá’s graffiti superstars), but she also works solo, creating artworks that employ the objects from the environment while technically indulging into something very fine art-like.
Another from the Italian line of artists, Moneyless (Teo Pirisi) is probably one of the most interesting practitioners of street art culture. Using the geometry of space, he creates seemingly basic forms and simplified linings that represent the Platonic viewpoint where geometry is the fundament of nature. The fun thing about his graphic art is the fact that whatever environment Moneyless spares with his minimalist touch, it suddenly seems to be transformed into a genuine art exhibit. To be assured, just check out his experiments with fishing line and anchor hooks. He basically conjures floating geometric patterns! Being a complete opposite of colorful and often over-the-top mural style, Moneyless proves that austerity works magic in the right hands.
The Modern Classic
Banksy is pretty much possibly the most well-known of the street artists out there today. Often appearing from nowhere (and disappearing equally mysteriously), he provides the walls of Britain (and the rest of the world) with short and concise statements, commenting both on pop culture trends and the national/international socio-politic affairs. Switching roles and poking fun with little quirky details on grim environments, it seems that Banksy not only wants to playfully provoke the law enforcement but also wants to simply add that little something the environment demands. Might as well be a simple sentence in the right place. The art of Banksy is more about content than form, with the message always being painfully true.
It’s Totally Not Just a Men’s Thing
Now for something refreshing, colorful, funny and huge. Kashnik considers herself not just a street artist, but a real street activist. Her huge four-eyed and mustached machos are often seen in pairs, and there’s little to no mystique as to why it is so. Kashnik uses her street art to combat human rights issues, colorfully depicting various forms of the same-sex relationships. Her artworks are huge in scope (check out 50 Cakes of Gay, which is not even her biggest) and usually boast explosive hues. Aliens, Shamans, and Gangsters, all of it comes together in a poppy and trippy street art extravaganza.
The Cosmos of Ozmo
We’re finishing up with the most eclectic guy on this street art gallery. Although Ozmo is generally known for exercises in portraiture, his creative output really encompasses a bit of everything – from the edginess and sharp social commentary of Banksy to the sheer scale of Kashnik and the monochromatic creations of his Italian peers. Active indoors (going almost full-on monochrome) as much as he is outdoors, Ozmo combines technical virtuosity with a good (though somewhat dark) sense of humor and well-grounded knowledge about the history of art. Get ready for a Holy Mother going through that Fallout New Vegas head wrap glitch!
Explored and compiled by photo printing experts from My-Picture.co.uk – one of the biggest and best-rated manufacturers and distributors of customizable wall decor and lifestyle accessories in the UK.