Street art has become mainstream. There are still those taggers that venture out onto the train tracks at night to scrawl their names across abandoned signal boxes but street art has become so much more. Incredible murals are appearing in our streets, street artists are becoming household names and their work is beginning to sell in auction houses throughout the world.
Here are five facts to get you even more clued up about street art.
1. Being a street artist is a health hazard.
Street artists have to take on some incredible physical feats when they attempt to create vast murals. Scaling tower blocks, bridges and derelict buildings means they risk breaking their bones as much as athletes and football players.
Added to this they are using the most toxic of materials to display their art: spray paint. This can cause respiratory problems, make their eyes stream and the paint can imbed deep into their fingernails. Who said Banksy wasn’t committed to his art?
2. Street art is political.
Street art all over the world is popping up in reaction to world events. During the campaigning for the EU Referendum, a huge mural of a kissing Donald Trump and Boris Johnson appeared in the streets of Bristol. Street artists use their creations to explore political ideals and comment on society.
Street art is becoming the perfect vehicle for political messages, satire and propaganda. The audience is huge. After all, everyone who walk down the street, sees it. .
3. A throw up is not as unpleasant as it sounds.
Although there are many intricate and beautiful pieces of street art that have taken days, and in some instances, weeks to create, there are also throw ups. These are the graffiti equivalent of speed dating. In under three minutes, artists want to have got something up on a wall, lamp post or building so they create a throw up.
4. Spray paint cans have been revolutionised.
Spray paint cans back in the 1980s were very much standard. Now spray paint is being made specifically for street artists and the better the quality, the higher the price.
Different colours and smaller nozzles give artists more freedom to create finer details and use a greater colour palette.
5. Street art is temporary.
The transient nature of street art can be tricky to understand when you are not an artist. Incredible murals that have taken so much effort and time and passion to create may not be there the next time you visit. This might be because it is deemed vandalism and is cleaned away by the council or it could have been stolen or it may have been removed to be sold.
You would imagine this being devastating to the artist who has invested so much into their creation but they are surprisingly accepting of it.