Independent art is artistic visual art made in public places for public recognition. Street art is often used interchangeably with the more traditional terms graffiti, street art, graffiti, and urban art. It includes a variety of forms and manifestations of art that are created in front of or near public areas and buildings, usually by anonymous artists. It is a form of non-commercial expression and is usually done in support of political, social, economic, or environmental causes.
Vandalism is one of the most common types of street art
Vandalism is the intentional act of defacing or damaging the physical structure or content of a physical location to publicly celebrate, oppose, or show support for a cause. Vandalism can take many forms, however, the purpose is usually to deface or hurt the artistic value of a building or other structure. Commercial street artists use spray paint cans as weapons and hurl them at other artists and buildings in an attempt to deface or damage the work of art. The goal is to disturb the visual flow of the visual art work and also to publicly shame the artist or art collector.
There has been a recent upsurge in the creation of street art through the independent art market. Since the mid-2000s, street artists have increasingly turned to promoting themselves and their works via the internet and independent publications. The rise in the number of internet websites dedicated to visual art has allowed more exposure and appreciation to the independent art market. The creation and sharing of these visual art pieces allows the artists to showcase their talents, providing fans an insight into the creative process, as well as providing those interested an opportunity to purchase art pieces and even attend art exhibitions.
One of the factors that contribute to the upsurge in street art is the desire by many to participate in this visual art movement. Street artists are no longer viewed as marginal and under-represented artists in the mainstream art market. Many mainstream artists have created a home base online that allows them to sell directly to fans and collectors. There are many sites dedicated solely to showcasing street art, which allow fans to communicate and engage in lively debates about various works of art. These sites welcome both new and seasoned street artists.
The increasing popularity of street artists can also be attributed to the increased awareness of graffiti vandals and their destructive behavior. Vandalism has become a more widespread problem and it is now believed that vandalism is now linked to a myriad of social and political causes. Public opinion is beginning to question the impunity of graffiti vandals and in response, local communities are organizing neighborhood watch programs. Business owners have installed security guards in high-traffic areas and companies are providing free graffiti removal services to help curb the problem. Many local residents and businesses feel that these measures are not enough and feel that more can be done to improve the public’s perception of the art form.
Art galleries and museums are taking matters into their own hands, with some taking proactive steps to clean graffiti off their walls. Curators have begun to stage pop-up exhibits in public spaces and other popular locations around town and across the nation. The goal of these exhibition events is to create open dialogue about street art with the public, engaging them in the art show while making a stand against the vandals who destroy private spaces. In the case of a gallery or museum, funding may be available to clean graffiti on public spaces. If funding is not an issue for you, then make graffiti a part of your artistic process, just as you have been doing with your photography or other artistic mediums.