When Streets Become an ‘Open Book’…
Art and literacy activism: With a spray can, some wheat paste and a ‘classic’ or two, street artists ‘read between the lines’!
Writing on the Wall
There is no doubt that street artists from around the world have written yet another ‘page’ in the history of social activism. From anonymous alleyways to archways, walkways and subways, the city itself has become a canvas and its walls are given voice.
Thanks to the ‘poignant, thought-provoking, ironic and humorous works’ of Bansky and to breath-taking participatory street projects like 2011 TED Prize winner, JR’s “Inside Out”, the stenciled, sprayed, stuck on, sometimes scathing social commentary of the hooded-artist, has earned global recognition.
The leitmotif of literacy, of literature, has slid into the limelight from out of even the most crepuscular urban corners of street galleries far and wide:
- Brooklyn – ‘For the Love of Books’
The acrylic spray, marker, and brushstrokes of Chilean artist Nelson Rivas aka Cekis.
- Paris – ‘The Book-worthy’
French artist Charles Leval aka Levalet responds theatrically to the city’s architecture, with india-inked, wheatpasted artwork and props. Notice the real copies of Camus’ L’étranger, Emmanuel Kant’s Métaphysique des Moeurs, Émile Zola’s L’Assommoir …
- Pittsburgh – ‘Literacy Windows’
- Lódź – ‘The Key to Knowledge’
Polish artist Marcin “Barys” Barjasz, book by book …
- Berlin – ‘Cut it Out’
The thought-provoking stenciled and sprayed paste-ups of German artist Alias
- Philadelphia – ‘Reading: A Journey’ / ‘Moving Towards Your Dreams’
The acrylic murals of American Donald Gensler
- Lisbon – ‘Between the Lines’
- Brooklyn – ‘Vandal Series: NYtimes’
British artist Nick Walker, known for his stencils, photo juxtaposition, freehand artwork
- New Orleans – ‘Louisiana Blue Note’
Cover to cover, the hyper-realism of French artist MTO
Street Artivism, when artists truly do “have something to spray” …
For a video portrait of Levalet and his artistic process: ‘Parole de Murs’. If you happen not to speak French, don’t worry … the walls will translate!