Urban Art such as graffiti is often considered a crime.
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When it comes to art, most people think that the canvas has to be a piece of paper or cloth in order for the paint to create the image from the artist’s head. Graffiti was originally considered to be a public nuisance and closely associated with gang activity, and the tags had little to no value when it came to preservation and enjoyment of the work. However, in the last few decades, urban artists have emerged and have been quite innovative in terms of making the world and the environment their canvas. What adds to the mystique of the world of urban artistry is the fact that many of these artists are anonymous and go by stage names. Whether these artists are expressing themselves, trying to send out a message, or a political statement, these artists are using art to express their hearts for all the world to say. Typical landscapes for these people are cityscapes, old buildings, and just plain old concrete. Here is a list of some of the most amazing urban artists around the world.
Retna is based in Los Angeles, California and originally started as a gang tag artist, but his work eventually evolved into something much more intricate and beautiful. Retna even created his own alphabet that he incorporates into his art, and hasn’t told anyone how to translate his work, even though he has met people who think they have solved the puzzle.
In Ghent, Belgium, Roa is rather new to the urban street art scene, but he has quickly risen through the ranks for his detailed art of black and white animals. He will often paint something that depicts death in some way, from decaying to life after death. Roa even incorporates his art into doors and signs so that the piece is more interactive. Roa’s work isn’t just constrained to Belgium, but instead, can be found all over the world.
In Bogota, Colombia, Stinkfish became popular for his stencil work of John F. Kennedy Junior by painting him over and over again across a wall until police stopped him. Since then, his work has evolved into psychedelic works where he will either use a picture of a stranger or take a picture of a stranger himself and turn it into art on a random wall. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, Os Gemeos is a tag team of identical twins, who create art with a yellow tint in order to recreate the yellow tint that they see in their dreams. The figures that they create are cartoonish, but can depict important messages about the state of society.
One of the most popular urban artists is Banksy, whose identity is unknown, as well as his next location for his artwork. People follow Banksy closely, trying to figure out his identity from clues. Many rumors and hoaxes have come out from people believing they have solved the mystery, only to be disappointed that that’s not the case. Banksy’s popularity continues to rise, and it is speculated that he might even be a celebrity.
Many of these artists obviously have to keep their identity a secret since they’re technically breaking the law, but keep an eye out next time you’re strolling through the city.
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Retna – Los Angeles, California, USA
Roa – Ghent, Belgium
Stinkfish – Bogota, Colombia
Os Gemeos – Sao Paulo, Brazil
Blu – Bologna, Italy
Mr. Brainwash – Paris, France
Shepard Fairey – South Carolina, USA
Banksy – Bristol, UK
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