Those knowledgeable in art are already aware of the evolution of street art, to pop art, to high art, and back to the streets again. Street art has always managed to maintain a credibility and sincerity that gallery fine art is often criticized for not having, or losing once it becomes popular. To that same point, street art strives to be unpretentious, accessible and free. Not only “free” as in “liberated”, but also as in “doesn’t cost you a single cent to go see”. And when you’re talking about traveling on a budget, what better way to see art and learn about the local culture than to just walk the streets and absorb it? Below are 3 great, and cities (and a few helpful resources) to view some of the world’s leading street art:
The Aussies have actually learned to embrace street art as a celebration of culture, and even founded the Stencil Art Prize in 2009 – an annual cash award given to an outstanding local artist.
One artist to look out for is Ha-Ha, a famous “rolling” artist (who uses paint rollers to apply wheatpaste signs) that’s been working in the city since the early 2000’s. A recurring theme in his work is infamous Australian bushraider Ned Kelly.
[Photo via Flickr – the euskadi 11]
São Paulo, Brazil:
The local artists here are big into murals – and into BIG murals, with lots of collaboration. The neighborhoods are tightly packed, but the city moves at a fast pace, so it’s good to know where you plan to go, rather than wander.
You should definitely plot a course using Arte Fora do Museu, and interactive digital map of street art and other cultural wonders.
[Photo via Flickr – Graham Styles]
Mexico City, Mexico:
Most of street art’s stigma stems from the fact that, well, most of it is technically illegal. What was long considered the work of vandals was seen as a public nuisance and a pain in-the-wallet for small business owners who constantly had to pay to paint over tags, stickers and other non-commissioned art on their property. But when the local government approves a large-scale collaborative mural project, even more conservative citizens can’t complain.
All City Canvas is an art collective that began in 2012, with 8 well-known artists creating huge city murals. They promote local artists, as well as creatives from all over the world, film documentaries, and develop research into the genre. Their 2015 artist forecast can be seen below, and other insights at allcitycanvas.com.