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Street art — Fotopedia
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Street art

Street art is an umbrella term defining forms of visual art created in public locations, usually unsanctioned artwork executed outside of the context of traditional art venues. The term gained popularity during the graffiti art boom of the early 1980s and continues to be applied to subsequent incarnations. Stencil graffiti, wheatpasted poster art or sticker art, and street installation or sculpture are common forms of modern street art. Video projection, yarn bombing and Lock On sculpture became popularized at the turn of the 21st century.

The terms "urban art", "guerrilla art", "post-graffiti" and "neo-graffiti" are also sometimes used when referring to artwork created in these contexts. Traditional spray-painted graffiti artwork itself is often included in this category, excluding territorial graffiti or pure vandalism.

Artists who choose the streets as their gallery are often doing so from a preference to communicate directly with the public at large, free from perceived confines of the formal art world. Street artists sometimes present socially relevant content infused with esthetic value, to attract attention to a cause or as a form of "art provocation".

Street artists often travel between countries to spread their designs. Some artists have gained cult-followings, media and art world attention, and have gone on to work commercially in the styles which made their work known on the streets.


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Graffiti

Graffiti is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and it has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.

In modern times, paint (particularly spray paint) and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner's consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.

Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles. Within hip hop culture, graffiti has evolved alongside hip hop music, b-boying, and other elements. Unrelated to hip-hop graffiti, gangs use their own form of graffiti to mark territory or to serve as an indicator of gang-related activities.

Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials, law enforcement, and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly developing art form whose value is highly contested and reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.

Both "graffiti" and its occasional singular form "graffito" are from the Italian word graffiato ("scratched"). "Graffiti" is applied in art history to works of art produced by scratching a design into a surface. A related term is "sgraffito", which involves scratching through one layer of pigment to reveal another beneath it. This technique was primarily used by potters who would glaze their wares and then scratch a design into it. In ancient times graffiti were carved on walls with a sharp object, although sometimes chalk or coal were used. The word originates from Greek γράφεινgraphein — meaning "to write."


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Urban art

Urban art (from Latin urbanus, itself from urbs (“city”)) is a style of art that relates to cities and city life often done by artists who live in or have a passion for city life. In that way urban art combines street art and graffiti and is often used to summarize all visual art forms arising in urban areas, being inspired by urban architecture or thematizing urban live style.

Because the urban arts are characterized by existing in the public space, they are often viewed as vandalism and destruction of private property. Even though sometimes this form of art leads to vandalism the creators do not see themselves as vandals.

Although urban art started at the neighbourhood level, where a lot of people of different cultures live together, it is an international art form with an unlimited number of uses nowadays. A lot urban artists are travelling from city to city and have social contacts all over the world.

The notion of 'Urban Art' developed from street art which is primarily concerned with graffiti culture. Urban art represents a broader cross section of artists that as well as covering traditional street artists working in formal gallery spaces also covers artists using more traditional media but with a subject matter that deals with contemporary urban culture and political issues. In Paris, Le Mur is a public museum of urban art.


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