Tape Art

Not much explanation is necessary… tape art is art made from masking tape. Two examples of tape artists doing very different work are Australian artist Buff Diss whose clean, perfect lines make you forget you’re looking at tape, and Brooklyn’s Aakash Nihalani whose often whimsical, brightly colored geometrical works create optical illusions

3-D Chalk Art

Not all street art is subversive, and the triumvirate of the chalk art world defies the stereotypes of the graffiti world. Sometimes referred to as pavement drawing, this amazing work is created by a projection technique called anamorphosis. It must be viewed from a specific angle to create the perfect three dimensional illusion. Who’s at the top of their game in this medium? The playful Englishman Julian Beever, German Edgar Mueller with his large scale, almost apocalyptic installments, and the classically trained, detailed work of Kurt Wenner. Check these out.

Let’s play a word association game. Quick… what’s the first thing you think of when we say art? Museum? The Mona Lisa? Finger painting when you were a kid? And if we say street art? You thought of graffiti, right? Great. Let’s start there.

Street art is loosely defined as any art developed in public spaces. It is often thought of as “unsanctioned” or “illicit” art. Why the tone of rebellion? What some see as public art, others see as vandalism. While all arts are a form of expression, street art is often a way of making a bold statement, communicating dissent or venting political concerns.

Largely inspired by urban culture, street art has become a part of the mainstream with museums and private collectors scrambling to learn more about how to capture a temporary art form. Yes, these days street art can be a powerful platform for reaching the public.

Graffiti (vs. Street Art)

All graffiti is street art, but not all street art is graffiti. Traditional graffiti is borne of the hip-hop culture and painted, usually with a spray can, on surfaces where it can be seen publicly. Sometimes as simple as a word, often elaborate as in the embodiment of a mural, it is almost always colorful. Graffiti artists include their names in their art; street artists refrain. Graffiti quietly lays claim to a location whereas street art interacts with its surroundings.

2. Banksy and the Stencil Method

Banksy is the pseudonym of a British born street artist known as much for his whimsical, humorous work as his political bent. A sort of Godfather of the street art movement, he started in the early 90’s creating freehand graffiti. Legend has it that he was slow and would often get caught in the act. He began using a method in which he would hand draw or print stencils onto sheets of cardstock or acetate so that he would only have to glue them to surfaces with wheat paste.

In January 2011 a documentary film about his work, “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award.

Shepard Fairey and Sticker Art

If you think you’ve never heard of this guy or seen his work, think again. He is responsible for what some say is the most iconic image since “Uncle Sam Wants You” posters. Previous to the Obama poster he was best known for his Andre the Giant Has a Posse (…OBEY…) sticker campaign. He is now considered one of the world’s most influential street artists.

Otherwise known as sticker bombing, sticker slapping, and slap tagging, this is pretty much what it sounds like… using stickers to publicly display an image or message. With the onset of technologically advanced computer printers, most well known sticker artists like Fairey print their designs on adhesive vinyl.
Check out this amazing piece from Paris.

Reverse Graffiti

In the world of reverse graffiti, which is created by the removal of dust, dirt and grime, an artist’s tools are cleaning materials like detergents, scrub brushes and old socks, and an artist’s enemies are wind and rain. Because the work is temporary and biodegradable, companies such as Microsoft, Smirnoff and Kia have used this form of “street advertising,” considering it environmentally friendly.

The grand poobah of the art form is British artist Moose. Also doing amazing work is Scott Wade, whose canvas is filthy car windshields. If the most artistic thing you’ve ever done is to write, “Wash Me!” on your windshield, check this out.