Graffiti, Post-Graffiti, Street Art

Graffiti has evolved in unimaginable ways over the last two decades. Street art, which has its roots in graffiti, was once thought of as defaming, but has become one of the fastest growing art forms within an age old mien. Just as Steampunk was spawned from the traditional and classical expressions to become totally unique, so has the language of graffiti.

Does a particular form of art ever really come totally into its own? Who’s to say when there is no end to the ways we express ourselves? There are as many ways to conjure a work of art as there are people to express it. Seven billion personalities on the planet means seven billion individual views. If each could express itself in the art world we would have just as many different interpretations.

Developing trends take graffiti to another level. Some will always see graffiti as vandalism and some will always see it as art. The argument doesn’t have to have a winner or a loser, since graffiti and street art are not going away anytime soon.

Post-graffiti has become the urban expression of free-will at the requests of the local shop owners and community governments. The nature of the art remains the same; while each artist is asked to put their work up on the side of a building or in the middle of a sidewalk is what makes the difference. The idea is to turn humdrum architecture into eye catching, head turning focal points. Most make a statement in and of themselves, while others are contracted to bring specific attention to an area of town.

peyton-manningWho doesn’t love to see a good rendition of color and excitement in a town center? Who would argue with a full size picture of the State’s winning quarterback on the side of a popular sports bar? It’s all in the eye of the beholder, true, but you get the picture.

In our area, we have a section of town called LoDo, aka lower downtown. LoDo is the home of quaint boutiques along with cafes, bars, upscale restaurants as well as a hip local marketplace. Recently a graffiti/street artist was hired to bring some abstract art to the side of a large warehouse/loft apartment building bordering the east edge of LoDo.

The canvas was easily 50 feet by 50’ and was designed to en-train the trendy LoDo to an equally as cool living space. The abstract design filled with color kept the eye going past the usual LoDo boundary. I am sure – without a doubt, that that particular apartment building is never lacking residents willing to pay far more than the guy further down the street to be seen living in such a cool place.

Street art brings value when given the right space to be exhibited. Re-purposing bland architecture to bring smiles is always a good thing. If it is done in a universally pleasing way and allows for some personal expression of the artist and how he or she sees the neighborhood, it can be a match made in 21st century heaven.

More and more neighborhoods are enhancing their ‘urbanability’ by using the art form that is basic to its natural environment. When done with purpose and outside the sole need to be destructive in comment, graffiti, post-graffiti and street art are essential components to an expressive, lively modern atmosphere.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.