Street Art - New Culture of the Cities
Street Art is a very popular form of art that is spreading quickly all over the world. You can find it on buildings, sidewalks, street signs and trash cans from Tokyo to Paris, from Moscow to Cape Town. Street art has become a global culture and even art museums and galleries are collecting the work of street artists.
Street art started out very secretly because it is illegal to paint public and private property without permission. People often have different opinions about street art. Some think it is a crime and others think it is a very beautiful new form of culture.
Art experts claim that the movement began in New York in the 1960s. Young adults sprayed words and other images on walls and trains. This colorful, energetic style of writing became known as graffiti. Graffiti art showed that young people wanted to rebel against society. They didn’t want to accept rules and travelled around cities to create paintings that every one could see. In many cases they had trouble with the police and the local government.
One well-known New York Street artist is Swoon. She cuts out paper images of people and puts them on walls and or sets them up on sidewalks. Swoon didn’t start her career as a street artist. She studied art but, as time went on, got bored with the work she saw in museums and galleries. The people in New York enjoy Swoon’s strong and imaginative style. Some museums have already bought some of her work.
Swoon Image in Berlin - Duncan Cumming
Many street corners in Paris show the work of Space Invader. The French artist uses small pieces of glass to make images of space creatures. He has been doing this for some years and the police have arrested him a few times. On his website (http://www.space-invaders.com/) you can see many other places where he has created this form of art.
Street artists do their work for a reason. Some of them do not like artists who make so much money in galleries and museums. They choose street art because it is closer to the people. Some artists try to express their political opinion in their work. They often want to protest against big firms and corporations. Others like to do things that are forbidden and hope they don’t get caught.
Advertising companies also use street art in their ads because it gives you the impression of youth and energy. The New York department store Saks Fifth Avenue recently used a street artist’s design for their shop windows and shopping bags.
In today’s world the Internet has a big influence on street art. Artists can show their pictures to an audience all over the world. Many city residents, however, say that seeing a picture on the Internet is never as good as seeing it live. The street art movement lives with the energy and life of a big city. There it will continue to change and grow.
Poster Art in Melbourne, Australia
- accept = agree to
- advertising company = a company that designs ads for others
- audience = people who see or watch something
- corporation = a big company
- create = here: draw
- creature = living things
- energetic = full of energy
- enjoy = like
- express = show
- global = worldwide
- illegal = against the law
- image = picture, painting
- imaginative = creative, original
- impression = feeling
- influence = power
- local = here: city
- movement = idea ; way of painting
- opinion = the things you believe in and think
- permission = to be allowed to do something
- popular = liked by many people
- property = the things that someone has or owns
- public = open to everybody
- rebel = to fight against society or the government because you do not accept the rules or their ideas
- resident = a person who lives in a place
- secretly = without many people knowing about it
- sidewalk = American word for “pavement” ; the hard surface at the side of the street for people to walk on
- society = people in general
- spread = to move from one place to another
- trash can = large container, in which you throw away empty bottles, paper etc...