When we talk about Street Art we must consider the motivational aspect, in addition to the purely artistic, to better understand its conformation.
The origins of Street Art: how it was born
Street Art first appeared in New York during the 1950s and 1960s, with the explosion of graffiti in the Big Apple.
The movement brought with it cries of protest that the artists brought to attention, from the walls to the facades of buildings and universities. Street art thus became the a new type of artistic expression. In particular, artists of the caliber of Fekner, Hambleton, Haring, and Basquiat created their works in the heart of Manhattan.
However, it would be a mistake to categorize street art exclusively in light of social protests. Many artists create street art as a freer and more expressive project.
In Italy during the 1980s there was a disconnect between the art of protest and that of “pure expression”. During this time, murals started to be created more frequently without any real message or specific addressee. Subsequently, in the early 2000s when graffiti really began to take off and the use of internet significantly increased, street art changed its appearance and spread to the masses. On the peninsula as well as Milan, Rome, and Bologna became centers for street artists.
In particular, the Bolognese area saw the emergence of numerous artists who would establish themselves in the following years. Among them is Blu, a world-famous street artist and video author, Ericailcane, whose imagery hybridizes man and animal and has led him to also be one of the most well known Italian street artists, and Eron, who has been active since the nineties between Rimini and Bologna.
Many would argue that there is just a thin line separating street art from mere vandalism. For this reason, many people don’t understand the point or artistic value of street art. The artists utilized current social campaigns to motivate their work, making the message more understandable to the general public.
Today, street art does not usually get confused with vandalism. Instead, it stands out as a creative and unique art form that cannot be ignored for its subordination to rules.