People have used natural surfaces to draw and paint on them since prehistoric times, when handprints and paintings depicting hunting scenes were placed on cave walls to evoke the prosperity and unity of small human communities. What we now call street art is intrinsically different from the above-mentioned murals and dates back to modern times, to the war of the infamous gangs in New York City in the 1920s and 1930s, when labels with names and primitive graffiti began to appear on the streets that marked the territories controlled by gangs. A similar urban climate helped art murals find their way into urban landscapes in the metropolises of Southern California at about the same time. The well-documented origins of street art come from Philadelphia and especially from New York City.
In the 1960s, New York was going through difficult times and was on the verge of bankruptcy. The vast areas of walled buildings, wastelands, closed factories and construction sites became the canvas of a group of creative children, first in Spanish Harlem, which led to the development of a whole form of art ranging from a simple signature to murals that covered entire subway cars. The desire of people to leave their mark on walls has existed for thousands of years. Archaeologists have found striped graffiti on the walls of the city of Pompeii.
However, in terms of contemporary street art, we can trace its beginnings to labeling or scratching initials or a name on public property in New York in the late 1960s. It also originated with graffiti artists of the 1970s and 80s who were looking for new places to make art, reacting and rebelling against the rules of society. One of the best places to go today to find beautiful Chicano street art works is the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago. A big change occurred in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when street art ceased to be considered property damage and vandalism and began to be accepted by the public.
The most common place to find street art is on walls, such as the sides of buildings, billboards, and other flat surfaces that can be easily seen. There are some incredible examples of street art in ancient Roman and Greek cities that can still be seen today. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring began their careers as graffiti artists in New York during the height of street art, in the late 70s and early 80s, respectively, and were soon welcomed by the art world. By comparison, street artists take the ideas and tools associated with graffiti and use them to create art that sends a message.
Street art is often related to activism, which raises awareness of pressing social and environmental issues. Although street art is usually commissioned, the manufacture of graffiti is usually sanctioned and cities often treat the act of sprinkling graffiti as an act of vandalism. After his early death, his reputation soared and today, through his paintings and graffiti, Jean-Michel Basquiat is considered one of the first and greatest exponents of visual art in the history of African-American art. Although territorial and rebellious in nature, street art tends to convey a social or political message that provokes discussions and reactions.
The neighborhoods of the five Burroughs have different styles and styles, making it easy to understand why New York is one of the best places in the world to find street art now. Reflections on political and social issues usually occupy a central place in street art, ranging from sprayed labels, through stickers and woven fibers that wrap around telephone poles to monumental painted murals that cover entire buildings. These police efforts, combined with programs designed to “clean up” the city, such as the MTA's Clean Car Program in 1984, make it easy to understand why street art received such a negative reputation for so many years. In addition, advances in virtual reality, augmented reality and blockchain have the potential to revolutionize the way in which street art is not only created and consumed.
Often fun and thought-provoking, street art encompasses an extremely wide range of interesting topics and techniques that go beyond traditional graffiti and spray painting. . .