Scorned by many, the urban or street art, is a hallmark of today’s culture. Those days that graffiti meant dirt for most of society are gone. Today you can find this kind of art even in museums, by renowned artists such as Banksy and Swoon.
Street artists express emotions, give voice to the oppressed, is a form of protest and create beauty with a variety of tools beyond the sprays: stickers, magazines, recycled objects, laser displays, tiles… and even brooms, as is the case of “reverse graffiti”. Unfortunately, most times, urban artists are provided with no permissions to show your their work in public spaces, so they tend to be persecuted.
It is perhaps the world’s city most associated with graffiti, especially the Lower East Side and Chealsea in Manhattan and Dumbo, Williamsburg and Bushwick in Brooklyn. In addition, there is an store, 5 Pointz in Queens, known as the Mecca of Street Art
In the culture of the city, the street art has pretty importance, since from the communist East Berlin era, artists come from around the world to translate their work, especially in the districts of Mitte and Friedrichshain Kreuzberg.
Despite the anti-graffiti laws, some events as an exhibition at the Tate Modern, facilitates this type of work. One of the artists most prolific among these is Bansky, whose rivalry with Rey Robbo, was compared with that of Picasso and Matisse. The best neighborhoods to admire this art are Shoreditch and Camden, in the East End of London.
The alleys of the city center are decorated in a stunning, ever-changing mix of painting, stencils, stickers… that can be seen in the CBD (central business district of the city) and the nearby suburbs of Northcote, Brunswick and Fitzroy.
Paris street art is characterized by being cool: small bright figures by Jérôme Gulon, decorations on top of buildings by M. Chat, or recreations of popular games like Space Invaders or Rubik’s cube.
For the inhabitants of this city, street art is also a mean of protest and expression, as we can see in the murals created with the collaboration of several renowned graffiti artists as Nunca, Vlok, Nina and Os Gemeos. Paradoxically, one of the best districts of urban art, Pinheiros, is also one of the richest in the city. Roosevelt Square, has a rotating display of murals and Vila Madalena is located Beco do Batman, alley completely covered by beautiful murals.
The works of street art that we can see in the city, are based on bringing reality to fantasy: Obama become Superman, Mr. Spock is a heavily made-up blonde … It can be found throughout the city, the East, in Hollywood, Silver Lake, La Brea… and especially under bridges.
The people of Cape Town is proud of what they have achieved throughout history, so they tend to immortalize the country key figures such as Nelson Mandela, but also they use street art to convey peace and joy, as the Nyoni Sindiso images. A good place to find these pieces is the area of the City Bowl, including the suburb of Oranjezicht.