Street Art -Graffiti – Urban Art

Graffiti has been around for millions of years. It was considered modernized over 30 thousand years ago in Greece. Graffiti is anything carved, etched, scratched, painted or drawn in a public area. It has always been used to tell stories, give directions, mark territories and self-express. Street art, also known as bombing or murals, is a branch off graffiti even though  many consider it graffiti including the law. When in reality street art stands alone as a form of artistic expression.

More often than not, street art is used to express belief and bring to light socially relevant events and happenings. Although street art started with the use of free hand art using aerosol spray paint cans {my favorite form} it has evolved to include stencil art, mosaic tiling , L.E.D lights and sticker art.

Some street artists have become so accomplished that they have even been contracted to do commercial pieces for advertising companies e.g. Ron English, Faile, Shepard fairy, and Ash.  Several great street artists have had their works displayed in museums and have obtained worldwide fame.

This unique breed of artists often disenfranchised, seek the broad audience the side of a building or brick wall or an empty park bench can bring them. There is a certain thrill to achieve a masterpiece in the still of the night undiscovered until the hustle and bustle of the day comes with the rising sun. Street art can be found from the Krog street tunnel in Atlanta to the streets of L.A from Labrea Ave to Melrose and La Cienaga. It can be seen all the way around the world in places like Bulgaria,Spain,Germany,Norway and Poland.

No country or continent is untouched by street art or graffiti in one form or another. Many festivals celebrate this fascinating art form. The most recent of these is called “Living Walls” that was started in 2009 and has been hosted in Atlanta,New York and Albany. Although, know one does it bigger than Australia, the home of the worlds largest and perhaps most diverse movements of street art and one of the most impressive street artists in the world, David Walker.Walker specializes in portraiture’s with a twist. He uses no, yes i said no brushes, yep he only uses spray cans.

Walker truly does challenge the preconceptions of gallery art and urban street art. His work is featured in the U.K and he has been seen in venues such as L.A,Lisbon,London,Hong Kong,Paris,Germany, and New York along with many other places. His amazing work can be seen on his face book at

What the high art world often fails to realize is that the core of street art is the public display of the work and the interaction with the world—it has little to do with screen prints on gallery walls. This is why it probably continues to remain a valid art form, no matter how many Banksy paintings Brad Pitt buys.

A man who understands this world like no other is Sebastián Buck. If there is street art on a wall a train or anywhere on the streets and its good he knows about it. Buck rates a man known simply as Blu as number one on his top fifty list. Blu is from Italy and is one who refuses to be tangled up in the commercial art machine. His murals are huge and filled with powerful images, often sporting political statements. There is a dark side to all of this amazing art work, it’s called the law, anything considered “graffiti” is an arrestable action and can bring thousands of dollars in fines and also can bring jail time.

Unfortunately, it is up to the interpretation of the officer as to what is graffiti. Take the case of Julia Torres, who started out with a little table in Brooklyn doing her watercolors and selling her art to passers-by. She was making a decent honest living at it. One day she decided to go big, she bought some large paper, taped them to the side of a building, and started painting. On July 17, she was arrested, finger printed and photographed and has since been to court twice. Torres was painting on her own paper in watercolor with two little brushes that by the way were booked as “tools of graffiti.”

This is just insane. These artists are all amazing in what they do and think little of the risk involved as they love what they do and I along with millions of others love what I see. One day, I was stopped waiting for a train to pass in my sleepy little town of Wabasha, MN and was over joyed and completely entertained as one boxcar after another rolled by with beautiful vivid works of art thundering by bringing bits of Chicago and New York, who knows where else to my visual delight. So I say hail to the spray can, and hail to the brave artistic souls who wield them.




3 thoughts on “Street Art -Graffiti – Urban Art

    • hey gardenlilie
      Davids work is awesome yes indeed 🙂 and in the U.S un less you are hired or commissioned to paint or work on someones property and you do so it is illegal and considered vandalism or defacing public or private property 🙂

  1. Tommy,

    This is something I’ve always wanted more info on, but was too busy to pursue. Ever since Simon and Garfunkle’s “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls” I’ve sought the street graffiti I could find. Some of it was not worth the trouble, but some was, including some extrordinary street art. Sorry to say I can’t remember where, except in L.A..

    Thanks, also, for the knowledge your research has provided. Much appreciated.

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