Street art refers to any visual art that is created in a public location. Most street art is constructed outside of the traditional art venue and became widely popular with the emergence of graffiti art in the early 1980's. Street art does not refer to vandalism or territorial graffiti. Most often street art is motivated by an artist that wants to communicate something directly to the public without the confines of the formality of the art world. A wide number of street artists are known to travel from country to country and even have cult-like followers who praise their works.
Most often street art strives to communicate directly to the everyday people and will likely have a socially relevant theme. It has been a common way for the oppressed to reach the public and has been a powerful platform for many artists to get their message across. While graffiti, sticker art, wheat poster art, street installation, and sculptures can all be forms of modern street art, street art can utilize a variety of medias. It can be strictly context, a graphic or a combination of both.
Street art began as simple slogans that would protest a political or social issue. The first signs of street art were seen in the World War II era with the Kilroy Was Here graffiti. The origins most often relate back to the 1960's in New York City where the graffiti boom was said to have originated. Most of these works were text-based and often would result in full subway trains being spray painted. In the 1980's there was a shift to conceptual street art, Wheat pasted poster art also began to emerge at this time as artists began to copy the way bands and clubs would promote themselves.
Traditional graffiti street artist will solely use aerosol paints to produce their works free hand, modern street art can encompass a wide range of techniques. Mosaic tiling, murals, LED art, wood blocking and yarn bombing are just a few other the other techniques and medias that can be used to create street art. Projections have also become a popular new media form that many street artists are implementing in their works.
You may also here street art referred to as urban art, guerrilla art, and neo or post- graffiti. For years, there have been ongoing discussion and arguments about whether these artworks are actually pieces of art or just a crime of vandalism and destruction of property. Some cities have laws that ban any type of graffiti art from being visible from any other property whether private or public. Some of the most iconic street artist today include Cekis, MOMO, El Tono, Regan Tamanui, Roa, Jaz, Sam3, and Banksy. Most street artist today rarely uses their real names often times because of the risk of being arrested. Each street artist has their own unique style and many carefully plan out their next public display some simple use the graffiti already in place to create a satirical piece of work.