The concept and history of street art

Street art, or street art, is a classic urban phenomenon, which means the display of some kind of graffiti, painted graphics, installation, sculpture, sticker, or even video in a public space. The origin of the genre can be grasped in the communication gesture in which the man on the street expresses his political, social dissatisfaction or even his desires and emotions anonymously but with a general demand. That is, he writes on the wall. With the expansion of the urban subculture, the text and sign painted on the wall and on public transport vehicles had a territorial function. Already in the big US cities of the 1920s and 1930s, signs marking gang boundaries appeared on buildings.

Graffiti philosophy

The visual development of manifestations of subcultural communication leads to the formation of the graffiti era of the 70s and 80s. During this period, already retaining its subcultural character, graffiti becomes, for the first time, an artistic means of self-expression in the hands of young people. The rebellious, persecuted, doomed destruction of graffiti also helped this process, with “adult artists” finding more and more fantasy, excitement, novelty in the world of wall-mounted figures and messages. Graffiti and its mysterious creators first appeared and became prominent in the material of the photographic exhibitions, and then the wall paintings and the galleries brought the murals from the street into the world of contemporary art.


There was another turn in the 70s that started graffiti in the direction of street art. Already through a conscious artistic concept, a new technique and approach has emerged in the genre, stenciling. The point of this is that the artist was actually able to create his work in a studio medium (the cardboard sheet that contained the negative of the graphics) and “placed” this work of art in the pre-selected environment. However, this technique had precedents much earlier, the so-called murals. This genre has not only conquered the United States, but Latin America has also enriched painting with incredible works. One of the best-known representatives of South American murals was Diego Rivera, who also conquered the United States with his wife, Frida Kahlo. Or we could even mention the gigantic mural paintings!

Today's street art works

Street art underwent another development in the 1990s. This is when newer and newer techniques and approaches emerge. In addition to stenciling, solutions such as sticker, sculptural dressing, LED art, or videos and installations projected on the walls have appeared. With ARe, you can use street art to express your surroundings with augmented reality technology. Of course, there is an ongoing debate about how street art relates to high art and where it has a place in art history. Many people believe that most street art works do not carry an artistic message, they are merely aimed at raising awareness, provoking. At the same time, others believe that the essence of street art is precisely that it is an autonomous genre created outside of art history, evolving without a genre definition. Nor does this contradiction bother street art, which we encounter in many works.
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