Street Art is Street Art is Street Art …



I love stencils and I think that the stencil is the modern reincarnation of the poster. The poster was a very powerful medium that became very popular in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s (Art Nouveau/Jugendstil). Some of the more famous artists using posters as a medium were Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha, Steinlen and many others in Europe. Japan had proven to be highly influencual on the development of the poster as an art form.

mucha-posterLike the poster as an art form the stencil is dispensable and mostly short-lived. A stencil in a street art sense is a response to a political question, it is a satire on the state of art or just a beautiful or not-so-beautiful image. The fact that it is short-lived and a child of its day make it so attractive. Stencils are very graphic and can be very visual depending on the contrast and colour scheme (of the stencil and the wall).

toulouse-lautrec-jane-avrilI must admit that it scares me to see art critics getting too involved in street art. Seriously, once the establishment gets too involved in any movement it does kill the vibe and spirit of that movement. Get the establishment involved with all their definitions and dogma and you end up having many layers between the work and the viewer.

If you want to experience a good sculpture for example you want to be able to engage with it and one aspect of engaging with it means feeling it! Once a sculpture is placed in a museum it becomes less accessible (in a tactile sense). You might have heard of the case in Melbourne where a council went so far to install an acrylic protective cover on some street art. Sorry, I might rephrase that: not just some or any street art but on a piece by the almighty Banksy. True, I like Banksy and a lot of his pieces work for me, but street art is street art is street art is street art is street art is street art…

Below are some images from Melbourne’s backstreets and a few other selected pieces by 108 from Italy, Swoon from the US and Jef Aerosol from France.



4 Responses to “Street Art is Street Art is Street Art …”

  1. the last photo is genius :X perfectly done, massive big up!!!!!

  2. good post! it is nice to read some intelligent comments on the topic. i don’t like most street art, but thanks for sharing those images. they look great.
    who is the paper cutout by? is that in melbourne?
    the other images look wild as well, can you add where the works are at and who by, please? thankx

  3. this is great! i think this is a great overall survey o fstreet art which is now a world wide thing. check out my top ten list of street artists at

  4. laneways warrior Says:

    The papercutout is by a female artist from the USA, Swoon

    Mr Biola! Good post. I agree about the aspect that street art should not be placed behind protective covers. It goes against its very nature.
    AND the establishment and also academics do destroy movements. Academics write about movements and apply terms and a generation later they claim the movement (on an intellectual level) and have sucked it out of its life

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