What is urban art?

The history of art goes from prehistoric times to the contemporary age. All the modalities of arts that have evolved, in all the works carried out at that time, the changes and the different techniques used have been noted. The fashion of representing images has been changing and transforming over time, taking into account the methods used and the media. That is why, until the 20th century, representations were made based on drawing. Little by little and undergoing changes, painting has progressed and adapted to each century and to the methods and techniques the artist used. That is why today a great variety of painting techniques have been discovered,urban art .

What is urban art?

The concept of urban art , also called street art, which is a translated version of the English expression “Street art”, refers to all the art that is made on the street, on public roads and are normally activities outside the law being illegal, giving rise to controversies and confrontations between its followers and its detractors. This form of public art happens on the exclusive initiative of the artist, without prior permission or commission, and the result of which is abandoned so the work is finished.

This type of urban art includes from the Graffiti, being the first artistic expression associated with the streets, but there are other artistic forms of expression such as posters and stickers. The objective of urban art is to try to surprise observers, since this type of work is normally carried out in public areas that are frequently frequented. All works usually carry a very striking message, this message is usually revolutionarywho criticizes society above all but with a certain irony and tries to incite a social struggle, other messages are only a political criticism or a simple reflection. Unfortunately, this type of art coexists with debates about the main objective that artists have to make their works, and more so nowadays that many of them simply harm private space.

The urban art took its first steps as such in Paris in the second half of the sixties, when they began to be seen on the walls of the City of Light inscriptions with political messages made with plantillas.Pero would be half the 90s when the concept Street art was used to make a definition of the work of a heterogeneous group of artists, who developed a way of street expression with the use of various techniques, such as stickers, murals, templates, posters, among others These types of techniques are very far from graffiti, but of course now this type of art is not only possible to do on the street, but nowadays you can see works in a very professional 3D way.

The American Shephard Fairey and his Obey campaign had a lot to do with it  . Its original message was almost non-existent and there seemed to be no purpose in it other than to draw attention to its author, but it has been paraphrased and honored on many occasions for its pioneering value among the architects of urban culture.

It should also be mentioned that many people who are surprisingly talented are given a suitable place for themselves and especially a place that is legal. In these places these people with a born talent can represent themes that draw people’s attention such as history, nature, water or pollution, but all this must be done without offending the person who views it. In summary we could say that street art is a manifestation of oppression or marginalization and possibly harm private property. 

The styles and technique used in urban art

Graffiti:  Let’s start with explaining  the meaning of the word graffiti: it comes from the term graphite that refers to “words written on the wall”. The reason for the term is due to the fact that the first graffiti, in the late 1960s, were summarized as small signatures left by adolescents from the most populated neighborhoods of American cities using the spray as a tool and competed among themselves to achieve the signature. most original and personalized in the city , in a short time giving more and more stylized firms, with many colors and large sizes. The metro is one of the favorite places for graffiti artists, since it is the busiest place.

Graffiti is already widespread in all the cities of the world under an invisible and closed code of rules developed throughout the 70s and which are followed by all adolescent graffiti artists. the criteria of classification of the works of these artists based on a very concrete and peculiar, and it is measured according to the importance and character: 1) the number of times they appear in the city; 2) the risk of access to the place where it was painted and 3) the style itself.

Post-graffiti:  in this style of urban art  the scope extends to the general public, ceasing to be something starring a circle of specialized artists . The artist does not compete c or n other artists or uses a particular code implementing rules, having a certain freedom without skipping civic standards, painting in public areas abandoned or neutral, avoiding the desecration of the architectural heritage and private property. Post-graffiti uses various materials such as paper, such as posters and stickers and the template,   allowing you to execute your work quickly and discreetly.

the location of the works does not obey criteria of visual environment or the laws of symmetry, it is chosen discreetly and carefully and there is an ingenious adaptation of the shape of the graffiti with the surface or area that supports it, as if it were an installation.

The specific intervention: this style of urban art  pushes some aspects of graffiti and post-graffiti to the limit, since almost all artists come from these two modalities. It is a minority trend within the history of urban art , its main characteristic consists in the abandonment of graphic identity and in the creation of isolated, anonymous and independent works , using materials freely, using all kinds of plastic techniques that many times include the dismantling of urban furniture. In this urban art it has a new characteristic, the investigation and observation of the physical and social particularities of the intervention environment.

Ways and elements to carry out works of urban art

The form or rather the elements to carry out street works are spray paint and stencil. The techniques used are very varied and there are different aesthetic representations made by artists . You can also see other elements such as posters and stickers, which represent a small evolution in this type of art. There is a huge diversity of strategies with various ideologies but they all have the same concept of “Art”. Many street artists draw, others paint, there are infinite ways to capture street art, there are even different ways of representing them, they can be on the ground, on glass, on fruit, on canvas, on walls, on paper, etc.What counts for street art is the power of expression and revealing to the world the creativity that makes them unique and, above all, showing the world what they do.

Authors of urban art

Gerardo Yepiz,  “Acamonchi” :  Mexican underground artist, introduced since the eighties in the counterculture of magazines and skate punk.

Bask:   Czechartistraised in the US famous for the use of drips, a technique where paint drops are used to spill onto the surface, creating thick textures. He also carries out paintings with templates in which he paints characters and collages.

Buff Monster: He  started painting with spray, but soon went to posters and has become known for his Buff monster, habitual in the streets of Los Angeles.

Flower Guy:  Its beginnings were with sprays and templates on the floor of the New York streets. In 1993 he created his flower icon, which he printed on paper using screen printing.

Swoon: she  makes posters out of cutouts that she recycles herself.

Banksy: a British and international graffiti artist  , one of the best known among the general public. In the early 1980s he started spray painting in Bristol and then moved on to stencils. He has managed to place fakes or false paintings in museums such as the Louvre or the Tate Gallery and in his work he shows a humor as acid as it is brilliant.

Nich Walker: This artist works mainly with canvases, combines templates and drawings achieving almost photorealistic effects. In 2002 he founded his t-shirt brand “Apish Angel” and has also designed graffiti for the films “Eyes wide shut” and “Judge Dredd”.

Dr Hofmann: He  is one of the first members of the alternative culture of Madrid’s graffiti. He has worked with different typefaces and with a very personal imagery.

Tono: of French origin, he has been working with stickers and posters for more than a decade and has intervened in Madrid’s urban landscape making colorful lines in old houses.

Nuria Mura:  develops more, individual projects, seeking to promote a reflection on the use of public and private space, analyzing and experimenting with the intersection that occurs between both places. He uses defined geometric patterns, floral motifs, and his works criticize the industrialization of artistic language.


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