Roots of Street Art Movement

“Between 1984 and 1990 New York City adopted George Kelling’s Broken Window Theory and veraciously targeted graffiti. Subway cars were buffed clean on a regular basis and any car that had been tagged was taken out of service. Penalties for those caught writing were increased and access to subway and commuter train layover yards obstructed by new barbed wire fencing. Eventually graffiti proof, Teflon coatings were applied to subway cars, denying writers their best canvas and all but killing their pursuit” (Klausner).  This of course was not a way to stop the disenfranchised from spreading their words and messages that needed to be heard.

“In many ways, street art represents a snarky update on the graffiti and hip-hop of 1980s, but it also demonstrates an ideological symmetry with punk and hardcore . Good street art both documents and challenges the staus quo, yet as with rap, the tag or print used operates as an alter ego.  As Hebdige noted at the outset, for both those who place such work on a pedestal and others who denigrate its existence, Banksy’s simpering apes and menacing rats and Fairey’s Andre the Giant mean something.  How’s it’s positioned, where it’s placed, the art itself, all matter” (Reft).

In addition to the messages portrayed by the artist, many artists also choose to show there art work this way is because it is almost impossible to get their works into an art gallery.  In addition to this, many people can not afford to go to an art museum.  The point of street art and graffiti becomes a way to become recognized in order to be accepted by mainstream society.  Keith Haring and Andy Warhol were both great examples of how to publicize themselves that many artists have tried to emulate.

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