There’s a fine line between street art and artwork shown in a museum or gallery. Yet, I’ve noticed an interesting trend in the art world where people are really starting to embrace street art and graffiti as something they’d like to take home with them, hang up on their living room wall, or even wear as a t-shirt. I have a hard time myself, describing the appeal. I think it’s because this type of artist (your kind, so to speak) seems to have a message--often political, socially aware, or just downright LISTEN TO ME, I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY! I’m drawn to that kind of work, personally. How do you feel about people like me, art enthusiasts, who are interested in purchasing and supporting street art? Is it a contradiction, or is it perfectly acceptable to collect it? How have you as an artist, embraced this line of thinking?
Hmmm....that one’s kind of a touchy subject to some. A lot of “Graffiti Purists” as some have been labeled, have really hard edge views on where graffiti belongs. To a lot of folks that are active in the graffiti community, they embrace it as more of a movement than as an art form. To them the act in itself is a protest in a sense. A way to exercise to “Big Brother” that no matter how much control you think you have, the human desire to be free will always prevail over the need to control others. The social structure was already well established by the time all of us were born and not everybody is content with the nature of things imposed on them. The daily grind doesn’t necessarily add up to be fulfilling to each and every one. Some seek alternatives to existence. Others want to rebuild things from the ground up, “till the fields” or “weed the garden” so to speak. Those radical views fuel the fire behind what motivates some people to take their sometimes subtle, and sometimes loud, messages to the streets as a platform to reach the masses. Those with this mindset tend to feel that graffiti has no place in a gallery and view this as “selling out” or “conforming” to the capitalist system which graff culture is intended to counter in their eyes. Some have really passionately fueled views when it comes to the “bastardization” of their sacred culture by commercialism, media, and consumer-based society. It’s a divide that is as old as the art itself. 76
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