It makes no sense: I'm a law-abiding citizen with a genuine respect for my own and others' private property But the truth is, I have a real appreciation for a certain type of street art.
Not the "let's spray paint a gang symbol on your fence" type. Not the obscene type.
No, I am intrigued by an entirely separate genre that uses images and design to actually add to the environment, in some kind of public space. My kind of street art is somewhere between corporate art and vandalism. And its own temporary nature is part of its appeal -- non-sanctioned, it won't last long.
I would describe it as naughty but nice.
Alex Luster, a studio-mate of mine has created a documentary about this very subject called "Stick Em Up!" which is debuted in 2010 in Houston, thanks to the Aurora Picture Show. His documentary chronicles a short period in the life of several street artists using their medium of choice, wheat pasting.
Alex's film tells a compelling story about the meaning of street art -- what it means to the artists who create it, and how it affects the people who see it.
You can get another view of street art via an Academy-award nominated documentary for 2010 called "Exit Through the Gift Shop." There is definitely more of a backstory here (let's call it the commericialization of art), but street art plays a pivotal role.
Greetings from the underground
My favorite street artist in Houston right now is Coolidge. His images are small and playful, and brilliantly placed.
I loved him before one of his images appeared on a studio wall near me. Now I "catch" him everywhere.
Coolidge's works come and they go, but they're fun and deft and clever, and always good for a "wow" and a chuckle. That might just be my favorite combination.
Art used by permission. Thanks, Coolidge!
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