Do you respect street art?

Apr 2, 2011

  1. Wozowski When I say 'el' you say 'boh'.

    20,938 posts
    Since Aug 18, 2004
    I love the original ethos of 70's grafitti. Disenfranchised people taking back the street by making their mark. But I hate crazy lettering and cute cartoony figures now. When a middle class white kid does a big piece what does this say?

    I lived in the UK when Banksy was just starting to florish. No one really new him and all there was were these amazing though provoking stencils. By the time I left the UK stencils were everywhere. Just pictures on the wall with no though or real meaning behind them.

    I didn't really get Obey at all?!? Say it enough time until it has meaning. is that it? Buy the T-shirt maybe?!? Maybe it is too L.A. for me to wrap my head around.

    Then I get back to Australia and it is even worse. Paste ups of Mickey Mouse, shit hand drawn dragons that look like a primary school kid knocked them out and now someone has started knitting wrap arounds for light poles, fire hydrants, parking meters etc.

    The thing is I love great art, and some of the best I've seen has been on a wall in the middle of no where. But with the currency spread so thin, street art seems to be something that should be great. But fails to meet expectation.

    I honestly can't figure out of I like it. :smashed:

    What do you think? :question:

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  2. soundsurfer the future! the future!

    12,926 posts
    Since Nov 12, 2004
    street art is like dnb. some is good, but a HUGE amount of it is utter gash.
  3. decoherance

    5,102 posts
    Since Oct 25, 2004
    Short answer:


    Long answer:

    I do like a good full colour piece if done well, but for me I much prefer to see throw-ups or tags. I love sitting on the train in London and seeing all the familiar names and seeing if they have been busy recently. It's how graff started and it's still going on today. Graff was never really about art but more about getting your name up more than the next guy.
    Theres a few writers in London who are absolutly everywhere and in some of the most rediculous places imaginable. Im often wondering 'how the fuck did he get up there?'
    So the respect is not for the art, but for the sheer dedication.
  4. ocelot put stazi

    34,056 posts
    Since Dec 27, 2005
    as long as it's not all over trains i couldn't really give a toss. some is amazing, some is offensively shite. the banksy copycat thing is getting ridiculous - half the point was that it was unique... now it isn't
  5. Saskias Cunt

    Saskias Cunt
    20,443 posts
    Since Jun 11, 2005
    Some of it is entertaining, most of it is ugly vandalism with little regard for the property, or even just the surroundings, of other people and not much better than advertising.
  6. falsename

    5,557 posts
    Since Oct 16, 2010
    Yeah i do, it's still a way of being creative and artistic even if it's not the most complicated or sophisticated of art.

    Some of the stuff around Cardiff is impressive,other peices are just so shit it's lol. However if i'm honest i find most of the Graffti around Cardiff in the lanes of streets, it does brighten the lanes up tbh and gets my appreciation. I'm sure many older folks have the complete oppisite opinion of mine though and class it as trashy and would have it removed immediately if they could.
  7. socks

    4,888 posts
    Since Sep 9, 2005
    well its sure as shit better than just grey concrete covering everything in the entire fucking world, why not let a few bums spray colours on these terrible eye-sores of habitats we have created
  8. richard gere not actually my name

    richard gere
    7,746 posts
    Since Mar 27, 2002
    I don't mind it, some of it offers something that older graf doesnt. it can be humorous or trying to make you look at something boring and mundane in a different way, not really that keen on banksy though,seems a bit played out and i'm not into street art which tries to put itself into exhibitions or in galleries,loses any meaning and it tries to be something its not . I like all the old graf ,tagging and pieces. I can understand that whole mindset as I was involved in all that as a kid myself.
  9. richard gere not actually my name

    richard gere
    7,746 posts
    Since Mar 27, 2002
    thats another thing to consider ,some cities are miserable horrible places anyway, i've seen a few cases of horrendous buildings making a place look terrible.
  10. wood ammo

    wood ammo
    4,457 posts
    Since Jul 10, 2006
    Its lovely that a group of people actually go against what is considered appropriate in the public space, that everybody has a say and all that.
    The infatuation with graff having to be on trains is totally ridicules apart from paying the new york tradition respect (which imo is also way too singular or cliché), especially when its somewhere that doesnt allow painted trains to leave the station. Which is most of europe (I guess italy is the only place I have been where trains werent cleaned almost immediately, oh and germany bacause there´s just so much writing goin on all the time).

    The thing about street art is that its more light hearted and doesnt only present itself to other graff writers, so thats a sort of plus and also that its focusing even more on location.

    The thing that grades you, I think is that street art sort of coincides with a hipster tradition that never learned to deal with irony and subjects like that without one minute taking itself seriously and the next becoming a mockery. Its like everything is appropriated to the level that nothing matters or everything is cool if you say it is.
  11. Saskias Cunt

    Saskias Cunt
    20,443 posts
    Since Jun 11, 2005
    If that's where they spray, fair enough. Do we really need every park bench, every statue, every millimetre of public space covered in paint though? And trust me, some places are like this in e.g. Berlin.

    If we didn't lock up paintings and sculptures in museums they would scribble some shit over these too!
  12. Wozowski When I say 'el' you say 'boh'.

    20,938 posts
    Since Aug 18, 2004
    I kind of consider tagging outside of street art though. Street art is there to make you think. Tagging is purely get around more than anyone else, I got a big dick and can fuck for hours one upmanship. That is why I like the original New York thing. Trains there were covered so your name would pass through territories you wouldn't dare step foot in because you were from a different part of town. They were a mighty 'fuck you' to rival turfs.

    There was a tagger when I was in the UK called DAVE. Just huge squared off balloon letters only ever done in the shittiest of outlines and normally in silver or white paint. He must have had been an abseiler with a free train pass because he was on every rail line I ever took. Mainly on high bridges where you couldn't possibly do a tag that big without ropes and pulleys.

    That guy was fucking everywhere, not just in London but up and down the whole country. I'd go to some tiny village in East Sussex there was Dave, I went to Manchester and their was Dave and I even went to Bath and saw his tag.

    In the end, even though I hated his tag, I had to give up respect for the sheer bloody mindedness of his feats.
  13. Brendan Brady Islamic terrorist

    Brendan Brady
    4,252 posts
    Since Feb 9, 2011
    I'd say sort of the same, but Banksy was the beginning of the end for me.

    The Wooster Collective site used to show quite a lot of interesting street art - there was a time when whatever was happening in street art would be happening in graphic design a year or two later, so it was staying on the right side of things and showed how a movement could be a bit of a melting pot.

    When a friend from Brighton first introduced me to Banksy, I just saw it as a trite recycling of street art cliches without any purpose or impact. I think he's a zero talent marketing exercise - a street art boyband, and the reason the whole scene's become flooded with people doing it as a fashion statement.
  14. Wozowski When I say 'el' you say 'boh'.

    20,938 posts
    Since Aug 18, 2004
    You don't think he got popular through being clever with his original stuff though? Before he signed his named on stuff, or I knew it was 'a banksy', I just thought his stuff was beautiful thought provoking images done in a stencil style. Now I am a bit nonplussed, but those early pieces were really exciting when I first clapped eyes on them.

    I think the L.A. exhibition was a bad move in as much as it made him collectible and took his art off the street and into major galleries. This seemed like a fail.
  15. richard gere not actually my name

    richard gere
    7,746 posts
    Since Mar 27, 2002
    a lot of the time I see his exhibition work as art being followed by people that don't really understand or appreciate more established gallery art. street art does lose it's potency when taken out of the context it was set in and most street artists that try to make the leap to gallery exhibitions don't really produce anything of any ground breaking substance. so to me it sort of ends up in a meaningless void imo.
  16. Arc

    27,492 posts
    Since Jan 20, 2003
  17. Brendan Brady Islamic terrorist

    Brendan Brady
    4,252 posts
    Since Feb 9, 2011
    No I mean literally everything he was doing back then and everything he became known for was just recycling old street art cliches.

    He's never been part of the street art scene. When I saw his early website - when it looked like a geocities site with just a few pictures on - it annoyed me because it was so bland and generic, and most of his stencils were straight rips of what people had been doing in places like New York and South America years earlier.

    He got popular through playing the media. I wouldn't be surprised if he was completely manufactured - some businessman seeing a gap in a market and finding some commercial painter to fill the role. The problem is now people associate him with an actual style of street art. It's like people thinking Pendulum invented breakbeats and Reeces.
  18. Waddup-Browns?! Twerkolate!

    623 posts
    Since Aug 7, 2010
    Funny that this topic came up today, as I've just recently become fascinated with Neckface.

    I respect street art now, but I didn't at first. When I first saw street art I thought it was just somebody's new and trendy mode of advertising some new thing. But now that I realize it's someone's artistic expression, I have more respect for it. Street artists take the same risks that graf artists do. Maybe it doesn't take as much time to throw up a street art piece as say an end to end burner in a train yard, but risk is still involved and I would say that's a big part of earning respect. A lot of it looks good, too. I can tell there is skill that goes into a lot of it.

    However, I'm not sure how I feel about the guys who slap up a wallpaper of their pre-created street art. You know, the guys who create their stuff back at home in the safety of their own confines. I'm not sure I respect those guys as much. But I do respect the guys that go out and do stuff which takes a bit more time to throw up. I guess for me it all comes back to the risk factor; how close are you to getting arrested?
  19. robotone ___________

    20,482 posts
    Since Apr 12, 2002
    i love great street art
    unfortunately these days all i see are shit tags that took half of one second to do by some untalented dude on crack, and i see LOTS of that, everywhere
    i realize some tags are just gang markers too, but the designated 'gang tagger' should be required to have some talent :mad:
  20. RESET

    6,238 posts
    Since Apr 4, 2002

    thanks for posting this. one of my fav' magazine covers of all time.

    I don't think Banksy was 'planned' right from the beginning, I honestly think he was just some guy doing his thing and all the media bandwagon jumping was about being able to point and say 'that's proper art' in opposition to the genuine graff' culture the old media never supported.

    Remember OKER? That guy was everywhere at one point, even on the side of barns in the middle of nowhere. having met the guy himself I got the impression he was more mentally disturbed / depressed or something than anybody that cares about art or mainstream culture. Graff' was art for the appreciation of other graffers for the most part I think.

    Regarding galleries isn't the point in exhibiting work in a gallery context about making it 'art' if you get me, taking it out of it's everyday context and placing it in none so the work itself can be considered?

    Have seen a lot of totally pointless exhibitions by street artists over the years, but the work being placed in the gallery was what kind of emphasised its pointlessness tbh,
  21. Wozowski When I say 'el' you say 'boh'.

    20,938 posts
    Since Aug 18, 2004
    Haha I still have that magazine. Yes, I am that freakin' old.
  22. Brendan Brady Islamic terrorist

    Brendan Brady
    4,252 posts
    Since Feb 9, 2011
    Yeah that could be it. But the reason Banksy got famous was because he courted media attention by putting stencils in war zones and things, and he played on the mystique and anonymity act. (Both totally contradictory: courting the media, when the rest of the scene had managed to stay out of it easily, and pretending he wanted to be anonymous.)

    That's the exact formula dozens of otherwise hard to market music acts have followed. Which makes me think he might have had an agent, and maybe backers, behind him long before anyone knew about him.

    Charlie Brooker did a good piece on Banksy

    Take his political stuff. One featured that Vietnamese girl who had her clothes napalmed off. Ho-hum, a familiar image, you think. I'll just be on my way to my 9 to 5 desk job, mindless drone that I am. Then, with an astonished lurch, you notice sly, subversive genius Banksy has stencilled Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald either side of her.

    Wham! The message hits you like a lead bus: America ... um ... war ... er ... Disney ... and stuff. Wow. In an instant, your worldview changes forever. Your eyes are opened. Staggering away, mind blown, you flick v-signs at a Burger King on the way home. Nice one Banksy! You've shown us the truth, yeah?

    One of his most imbecilic daubings depicts a monkey wearing a sandwich board with "lying to the police is never wrong" written on it. So presumably Ian Huntley was right then, Banksy? You absolute thundering backside.
  23. Wozowski When I say 'el' you say 'boh'.

    20,938 posts
    Since Aug 18, 2004
    But that's my point. At least you do get a message. His work says something. Admittedly not something great and pretty obvious a lot of the time, but it does have a message. that is all I really ask of art.

    Charlie Brooker sounds like a cynical snob in that article TBH.

    But look at the dragon I linked in my first post. WTF is that saying to the world in general?!?

    That is my big beef with a lot of street art. I'm not worried that what the artist has to say is cliched or obvious, I'm more worried that the 'artist' hasn't got anything to say and is just pasting shit up (like Puff the crappy dragon) because it is trendy.
  24. Brendan Brady Islamic terrorist

    Brendan Brady
    4,252 posts
    Since Feb 9, 2011
    Yeah but what Banksy's work says actually fuels stupidity. You get it anywhere there are complacent middle-class 20-somethings: this completely mindless anti-American/anti-capitalism, with no historical perspective or any insight into how economies work.

    Art which says something that could be just as easily written on the back of a beermat is pretty worthless as art. I'm not interested in some naive 20-something's spoon-fed, drug-fueled communism, but I think there's a lot of scope in street art to experiment with psychology - a lot of modern art is about putting things out of their natural context, which can be about creating these little moments of clarity. And that's something street art can do.

    Artists are people who see their everyday environments in an interesting way; they're not people who should be teaching you about global politics.
  25. Saskias Cunt

    Saskias Cunt
    20,443 posts
    Since Jun 11, 2005
    Some examples would be good imo.
  26. Wozowski When I say 'el' you say 'boh'.

    20,938 posts
    Since Aug 18, 2004
    I'm not up for saying what art and isn't, or what and artists can or can't say. That is up to the artist themselves.

    But I wouldn't say being anti-American/anti-capitalism is all that mindless in the modern day (or a historical) context. The preconception exists for a reason, no matter how misguided it may be. I don't think Banksy or most the 'kids' are communists, I think they just know the system is broken (obviously so after the war in Iraq/Afganistan & GFC), but don't know how to fix it. I can't blame them because our governments don't know what to do about it either. We live in a time of flux. :whitey:
  27. Tube Jerk

    Tube Jerk
    2,374 posts
    Since Dec 17, 2003
    personally yes. largely because it's about as far removed from advertising as art gets.

    cute as they are i don't have much respect for banksy or obey. they directly and calculatedly turned themselves into a commodity, but by pretending to rail against commoditisation. out of all that era i actually preferred the Mr. Brainwash stuff. at least it was honest.

    speaking of which, i haven't seen any TOX '11 around yet...
  28. Bigfoot

    3,262 posts
    Since Mar 10, 2006
    for all your street art related shit check this website out!

    i must say, i am often fond of a nice train lay up..
  29. Brendan Brady Islamic terrorist

    Brendan Brady
    4,252 posts
    Since Feb 9, 2011
    It's not what people oppose but why they oppose it. People mindlessly oppose American intervention, but you only have to go back to the Suez crisis to see the US chastised by the whole world for not fulfilling what was seen as a responsibility. We wouldn't serve Americans in restaurants. We complain about Libya when 700,000 people were in line to get slaughtered by their own government.

    People on the street seem to think capitalism involves the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Our wealth is the result of the third-world's poverty. People think communism means everyone's happy with shared wealth. If that's why you oppose capitalism, you're an idiot. Capitalism's what's pulled most of Asia out of poverty, while telethons and a lack of foreign intervention has left large parts of Africa exploitable, reliant on foreign aid and often funded civil wars.

    What the likes of Banksy contribute to might prove to be one of the most destructive forces of this century - an idiocracy. Already governments are having to treat global politics like a doctor treating a Jehovah's witness. And it's not like Banksy himself isn't one big capitalist/media-entity/brand-name marketing exercise.
  30. DJ_LOGIK

    2,314 posts
    Since Jan 15, 2002
    fuck streetart - its all about pure damage a la 10FOOT et al.