Street artists have been part of the creative crowd that has not always been a welcome guest, but that – has all changed.
Street art is what makes neighbourhoods come to life, attracts thousands of people during festivals and is often used to make bold statements.
A short history about the evolution of street art.
According to WideWalls some of the earliest expressions of street art were certainly the graffiti which started showing up on the sides of train cars and walls. This was the work of gangs in the 1920s and 1930s New York.
The impact of this subversive culture was extraordinarily felt in the 1970s and 1980s. This cultural movement was recorded in the book The History of American Graffiti, by Roger Gastman and Caleb Neelon. These decades were a significant turning point in the history of street art – it was a time when young people, by responding to their socio-political environment, started creating a movement, taking the ‘battle for meaning’ into their own hands.
This subcultural phenomenon gained the attention and found a place in the contemporary art world. One of the most respected names in the field of documenting street art and artists, who would gladly testify to this, is photographer Martha Cooper.
What does street art include?
There are many forms of artistic impressions nowadays. So exactly what does street art include?
Street art is not only graffiti but also stencils have been a part of history parallel to graffiti and have been vessels for socio-political activism for those in power, and even more for those who resisted.
The evolution of street art became evident through such artists as Banksy, who transformed views of this art form with his documentary “Exit through the gift shop”. With the emergence of artists such Vhils or BLU, street art became a ground for experimenting with different kinds of methodology, but never giving up on its rebellious position in front of the hegemonistic patterns and structures of popular culture and mass media reality.
Thus, street art gave birth to artists who create breathtaking murals, and those who have incorporated video art and other performative aspects to creative work ‘on the streets’. – Bojan Maric, WideWalls.
Map Your City supports street art
We at Map Your City, with creativity in our DNA, recognize street art is an important part of our right to express ourselves. Therefore we find it important to support artists in their creative journey. Our Street Art Magazine is our way to help the community get the exposure for their artworks, related content and messaging.
So how does Map Your City support street artists?
We created a community inside the Map Your City app that people can follow. But also enable street artists or street art fans to join this community and map street art all over the world. We also created a website. – Frank Meester, Map Your City’s community manager.
You can find the Street Art Magazine inside the app, or check out the Street Art Magazine’s website here.
The future of street art
Today street art has found its way to tech festivals. It is the cool in creative clusters. And is used as part of branding techniques for neighborhoods. Some pieces are so popular, people travel miles to “gram” these. Banksy pieces are ripped off walls to be sold to museums or private collectors.
Forbes Magazine points to two major transformations that account for this popularity: mainstreaming and digitization.
“Street artists are gaining prominence through collaborations with (read: big) brands while #StreetArt on Instagram has over 60 million images (and counting). While Blockchain and NFT (non-fungible-token) technologies introduced the world to a whole new way of valuing and collecting art.” – Stephan Rabimov – Forbes Magazine
NFT’s were destined to be introduced into street art community. Considering murals and other similar forms of art are often ephemeral, NFT’s would come with a great advantage. Putting them on the blockchain can give them life after they’ve been covered up or removed.
You can now scan and turn your mural into a 3D model of itself. And then enhance it using augmented reality and add it to the meta verse next. And that is exactly what the project Murals to the Metaverse did. It is a first-of-its-kind collectible that has bridged murals and physical experiences with the NFT marketplace.
WIRED notes that perhaps the best signifier of the potential of this NFT market for street art is the emergence of companies like Streeth and NFT Mural Collective. Platforms which are focused exclusively on minting street art NFTs
Some of our favorites to wrap up
As we pointed out street art has come a long way since last century. And as an art form and means for political-social activism it has had a profound impact on society. Now it is moving towards its next phase, as it is crossing the physical boundaries into augmented reality. We have rounded up a few examples, at the same time this is (small) selection of our favorites. Feel welcome to check out more in the app.
//Street Art in Creative clusters
//Street artists embraced by brands
//Stencil Art as a vessel for socio-political activism
//Art Installation with a strong environmental message
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