The amazing art showing up on sidewalks, buildings and walls in every major city in the world is staggering. Three dimensional renditions of everything from the Grand Canyon to the Blue Hole, along with original conceptual illustrations have been chalked or painted on public surfaces, and are awe-inspiring.
Often times curious motorists will pull over to view the amazing art work on the city streets which can cause backups, delays and more roadside assistance calls then normally anticipated for a specific area. Although often unsanctioned by the public affairs departments, some creations bring worldwide attention to a city through their breathtaking displays. Artists who have received impressive accolades, travel by request from country to country to recreate their work.
Born from the graffiti of the 1980s, neo-graffiti, also known as urban art, guerrilla art and modern street art, expresses a new form of graphic communication. Street art is naturally open to the public at large. An artist can blow the roof off the structures of the formal art world and transport a drab stone wall or street corner into a statement of beauty, drama, philosophy, playfulness and even adventure.
Street artists use the existing structure of the city by taking a non-art construct and using it to their expressive advantage. Motivated by the urge to make a social statement or a way of reclaiming the streets for the people is partially what drives many of the artists. Others simply can’t stop a desire to put their stamp on what they see as their territory. After seeing their scope of talents portrayed on a sidewalk, the side of a building, wall or another unlikely urban canvas, a handful of street artist have been recommissioned to create within commercial environments of corporations and private concerns. Making a full transitional crossover into the formal art world from a sidewalk street artists is a dream come true for a few of the extraordinary gifted artisans out there.
Tattoos, tatts, ink, skin art has taken it’s latest inspiration from street art. More and more clients are asking their tattoo artist to leave the two dimensional world in favor of three dimensional art for their skin.
Tattooing has been practiced for centuries. It’s roots are murky, but there are known tribes that seem to have carried on the tradition long before written history. It’s assumed, that initially facial tattooing was done to make a statement showing oneself as a strong and formidable opponent, a ferocious warrior. Tattooed skin of a mummified Siberian chieftain was discovered dating back more than 2,500 years. Skin art was also used to differentiate the classes with the more elite wearing the marks of royalty as a lifetime emblem. It was used to send intra-tribal messages to indicate eligibility and fertility status.
With the dawn of world exploration such as Captain James Cook’s expeditions to the South Pacific sailors were enamored by the idea of returning with permanent declarations of their adventures to strange and exotic lands. It wasn’t until the mid 18th century that tattoos started showing up in more mainstream society. Often associated with sailors and their on-shore drunken binges, modern skin art has come a long way since then. Needless to say the artistic expressions left for a lifetime on someone’s skin are more popular than ever whether they are two or three dimensional.
Street art has influenced the world of skin art in a positive way. The artistry exhibited on a person’s body which comes out of a tattoo parlor can be truly beautiful. Modern materials and techniques have opened up the range of expression. Making a colorful three dimensional statement on your body is one way of carrying your message to the masses with the same strength as the street artist who is compelled to tell his or her story via a public edifice.
Art overlaps when it is good. Bad art goes nowhere. Street to skin, two to three dimensional, bland to beautiful, it’s all about the love of artistic expression.