Street Art shares with cinema a taste for drama. It has found in it a boundless source of inspiration and borrows or transfigures stars of the Silver Screen and mythical characters. Among them, Yoda, Superman, Homer Simpson, and Snow White hold centre stage – even if Snow White shows her dark side and loses a bit of her immaculate candour in the hands of Goin and Greg ‘Léon’ Guillemin.
The appropriation of mythical characters raises the question of the legal rights associated with these pop figures, who have become an integral part of a global and transgenerational cultural heritage. In a new column entitled Expert Eye we explore street artists’ legal rights, which can arise from the mere act of ‘spraying’ on someone else’s property…
Urban Art has landed on its feet. Festivals, murals, and solo shows are back on! But what purpose is Urban Art pursuing now?
Spirit of Street Art, are you here?
Through the letters, scattered words, and biting sentences they disseminate on the walls of our towns, urban artists shout political and poetical statements using sometimes sophisticated, sometimes brute designs that all seem to emphasise the importance of conveying a message. In this issue, we add our contribution to the endless debate about form and content, meaning and aestheticism, especially through the The City Spelled Out focus and the NEON inaugural exhibition in Athens, which shed light on the lettering works that increasingly shape our urban life in times of doubt.
Then, we will leave Athens for London, where the public space (walls, passageways, subways, etc.) has become a land of conquest and ephemeral artistic and political expression with various cultural influences. In order to last, murals are becoming institutionalised and transforming the city.
A bit like what Napoleon Bonaparte did. This issue will also explore the possible parallels between the French Emperor and the Street Art movement on the occasion of the masterful appropriations of Jacques- Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Banksy and Tristan Eaton.
There are, though, many other sources of inspiration and regeneration that fuel Street Art: WiseTwo draws from local traditions, and Francisco Bosoletti from romanticism and Renaissance art, while Swoon resurrects the ghosts of her past and ventures into the realm of new media. Peeta likes to trick our visual perception using geometry, while DEIH and Brusk build fantastic worlds that follow their own self-generated rules.
And don’t forget: the 2021 edition of the Urban Contemporary Art Guide will be released on 15 October, putting the spotlight on 50 talented artists and 12 Murals of the Month.