What is art? The question is sure to evoke many different answers; after all there is no well described definition for it. Art can be anything from sketching to cooking, from singing to painting. It can be visual as in a painting, a sketching or comic strips etc. It can be audible as in music, vocal or instrumental. Or it can even be edible as cooking is also an art, with all the textures and flavours combining to serve your taste buds. Talking about visual art, the world has seen many great artists, like Pablo Picasso, Leonardo Da Vinci and Paolo Uccello among many others, who have turned the canvas into their magnificent artworks but some others did not want their work to be confined in the sheets of paper or canvas. They needed something bigger, something huge to display their talent and emotions. Moreover they wanted to convey strong social messages which could not be done by keeping the art work in galleries or museums. So they took down to streets. From where everywhere can see it and get inspired by it. Thus a new form of art the “street art” came into existence. It is a form of visual art which is laid out in public places, specifically in streets. Street art is fundamentally an unsanctioned form of art since it is opposed to the government’s sponsored initiatives and is often called Vandalism. Usually the utterance of the words “street art” creates a picture of a graffiti or a painting on the street, in our minds but it is actually a quite diversified form that we know very little about. The following are its 10 best types.
Sculptures are what we usually see as a clay, stone, metal, ceramic or any other material carved in a creative way to give it a beautiful and a definite look. Sculptures can be moulded, carved or welded. These are often associated with a religion or politics and Ancient Mediterranean, Indian and Chinese are some cultures who have a large number of sculptures preserved till present. Ancient Greece is known to be the place where the western tradition of sculptures started. When these precious sculptures are displayed outside a museum, a temple or anywhere from where the local public can view it, it takes form of a street art. Certain artists, namely Tejn, a Danish artist is known to attach sculptures with public furniture using chains, bike locks or similar things. This technique is called “Lock On”.
Wheatpaste, as the name suggests, involves use of a paste made up of flour (preferably wheat). It is a technique that street artists use to put up detailed images quickly. One can make posters, drawings and paintings on paper which can be glued on the streets using this paste. This technique is fast, easy, effective and cheap. That’s why artists all over the world use this method to display or promote their work and ideas to the masses. JR is a popular street artist who uses wheatpasting and combines powerful political statements through large portraits and murals. However, many other artists use wheatpasting to promote their concerts and shows. You can also create a wheatpaste at home by mixing some flour with water till it becomes a sticky glue like fluid. And then you can get started with your own wheatpasting.
8. Street Poster Art
Street posters are rather common and we can easily spot them on walls. These posters can be made by hand or can also be graphically printed on a thin sheet of paper. Some posters are rather funny while others can be informative. A lot of people believe that the streets will be a dull place without these colourful posters, yet they are mostly illegal and are not considered as a form of contemporary art.
7. Street Installation
Unlike other conventional street art forms, street installations use three dimensional spaces in which objects are set in an urban environment. Mark Jenkins, an American street installation artist, shook the people around by creating a street installation of a human figure with a detached head. He was trying to convey his thought about the modern generations’ fixation with technology that is resulting in breaking ties with people who are actually around them. Just like Mark, almost every street installation artist abandons the area after completing his work.
6. Art Intervention
This form of street art is used to bring about a change in the existing system. It is a process of intervening with already existing art works, with people or with a specific area. People also use interventions to protest about the artworks that they do no support. These were made of a great use by Stuckists, who were followers of an International art movement founded in 1999 by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson. Art interventions aim at stimulating modifications and initiating some form of change.
5. Video Projections
Video Projections have emerged out as an interactive form of street art lately. In this technique video projections are made on a wall or a building forming interesting images and animations. A German based company “Urbanscreen” is working on such video projections from recent few years and have a group of street artists and architectures as its members. Also in India, at the India Gate, New Delhi, a video projection was made recently that gained much popularity and definitely wasn’t worth giving a miss. Video projections are really interesting to watch if one gets a chance.
4. Sticker Art
This art is also famous by the names of sticker bombing, sticker slapping, slap tagging and sticker tagging. This form of street art uses stickers to display a message or an image which is generally associated with a political agenda. Sticker art is also used to comment on an issue or a policy. Stickers can be printed at very nominal costs and are also easy to put at accessible places. This has made this street art quite popular in the recent times and many street artists use this to display their work.
Graffities are funky, cool and I totally love them. Conventionally made by spray paints and markers, these can either be just for displaying art or they may contain a serious social message. Most of the graffiti artists work anonymously and leave their initials along with their work at the wall of display. You can walk down your neighbourhood lane and then suddenly the next morning a new graffiti crops up. These can be simple or calligraphed writings or an elaborated work of painting. Graffities are known to exist from ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire and can still be found at many places around the world.
2. Stencil Graffiti
Stencil graffiti is one of the many types of graffiti. These use a design cut on a cardboard that can be easily used to produce a number of graffities. Stencil graffiti also uses spray paints and markers just like a normal graffiti, and these paints are applied across the stencil to complete intricate designs. Hugo Kaagman was a Hollander who started graffiti in 1969 and created his first street stencil graffiti using a spraypaint.
1. 3D Street Art
These are also my personal favourite. I think it is really amazing how a simple (Ok these are so not simple!) painting can actually make you believe that there is suddenly a huge pit on the road which you walked on yesterday and from that very pit a monster is coming out! Yes, 3D street arts are that much realistic. 3D street art or the Three Dimensional street art is not an art that has emerged up in recent years. 3D art dates back to 1980s when Kurt Wenner invented this fabulous form of street art which can be done with chalk or paints and are surprisingly successful in creating an optical illusion in the eyes of the viewers.