Urban street art is the visual art that is usually imagined and in most times produced and exposed in an open space, that is, the street. Urban street art carries anti-consumerist, rebellious and anti-capitalist messages that are usually unauthorized. This type of art is not meant for profit, making them different from territorialism, corporate art as well as vandalism. It includes graffiti and other forms of media such as sculpture, flash mobbing, street installation, mosaic tiling, wood blocking, art intervention, video projection and many more. It is usually the work of uncensored, unrestricted talent that is instantly given to the audience and is ready to be judged, loved, hated or even ignored.
Positive role street art plays in the urban environment
Street art acts as a tool for reporting forum and advocacy. It works socially through shedding light on events, articulating political agendas, presenting visions, providing social commentary and identifying key players. Street art plays a role that usually opposes the media through offering its comments, questions, and criticism. Naturally, art is not obligated to be unbiased; instead, its work is toward advancing an idea or a cause. Everybody can access street art regardless of their stand or point of view and because of this; it acts as a ground for expression and some sounding board for the marginalized. Even though art form is unauthorized, it is full of expressive thoughts that are directly communicated to the audience by use of words as well as ideas and simple discourse. The messages are usually easy to decipher. Street artists depend on simple, brief messages and combined thoughts, comments and ideas to start a political dialogue. Changes in the political sphere compel street art to be flexible as issues arise; street art forms different themes that reflect the current problems. Street art through posters, murals, unsanctioned arts and graffiti communicate thoughts on disturbing issues that are cultural, political, economic and social.
Street arts in those walls sparkles community dialogue as people start to raise questions. Those who pass by the arts are compelled to reflect on what they see on those walls. They become aware of the views, ideas and even presence of a resistance movement. As it directly opposes commercial advertising, street art, aims to make the themes together with an ideological discourse that are in the streets neutral. This, however, raises the question of who is in control of the street? Could it be the socialists? Art is a powerful and strong tool that is used to inspire, generate morals, raise the public spirit and energize which is mostly revealed in times of war, revolution, and crisis. People can get information as it is readily available to them. Thus, street art is used as means of transmitting messages that assist in boosting the availability of ideas as well as information.
Street art also acts as a device used for framing communities all over the world. It is used as a modern primitive art that is everywhere and can be found by anyone who is looking. We can believe that street art is an efficient means of communication because if it were not, the authority could have already eradicated it. Art reflects the political situation through its content and its style. Art presents images of a nation that is going through power outages, racial issues, and feminism. These factors combined with pictures to create a political message through art. Although people already know what is going on, they still need to see it in form f art to confirm that indeed they are happening. Street artists influence not only as many people as it can reach, but also many artists inspire to create their work. Art is a form of visual language that always incorporates the world around it.
Street art has a sense of authority as it represents non-edited views as the work of the artists is directly presented to the viewers without a dictator to say what’s good and what bad. Its power to communicate to its audience lies in the fact that it only has one editor who is the artist. The artist directly initiates a dialogue with its viewers. It is a combination of creativity, social activism and social outrage that allows art to deliver strong messages in beautiful public gestures.
The urban landscape is constantly changing, and the changes that take place in the surrounding environment are usually answered by street art that is politicized. Street art act as a conversation about what is going on in the city. In many cases, for one to know what is happening in their country at that moment, they need to look at the streets. Artists express themselves in the streets, and most things are seen in the streets. Because street and urban art is everywhere, they have become part of the cultural fabric. It not only provides a creative look but also offers a voice against what has become of the city. It is a crucial commentary on aspects of gentrification plus globalization
Graffiti marks contemporary urban culture and decorates the city with many colors, style, and meanings. An urban artist can create a cultural space that is non-existent in the urban environment. Urban artists also develop a special relationship with the city by physically engaging with it
the many forms of street art are becoming part of visual culture and is gaining a lot of international presence especially support from artist communities, margazines,films and web site(DeNotto,. 2014). Gallery owners together with media are becoming important tools for disseminating writings to many people. It is through media that people get insight into street art .this has helped most people to understand how and where it harmonizes with the traditional methods. Graffiti, for example, speaks on the importance of cities through unsanctioned art. Cities are full of many personalities who have no choice but to integrate and deal with each other on a daily basis and are fully organized by people around them. People from different backgrounds come together and in some way manage to follow the same functions together with the rules. Graffiti has also managed to touch all the corners of the world (Merrill., 2015).
Street art acts as a voice for activism. Through it, there is a connection between people. Street arts always carry very powerful and rebellious messages that are used for activism. It creates dialogue, addresses the gap and creates a transaction between people and their environment. It is through participation and interaction that discourse is usually achieved and actions is initiated as a way of achieving some kind of social result.
Merrill, S. (2015). Keeping it real? Sub cultural graffiti, street art, heritage and authenticity. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 21(4), 369-389.
Luger, J. (2015). 13 The cultural grassroots and the authoritarian city. Making Cultural Cities in Asia: Mobility, Assemblage, and the Politics of Aspirational Urbanism, 93, 204.
DeNotto, M. (2014). Street art and graffiti: Resources for online study. College & Research Libraries News, 75(4), 208-211.