Archive for Art

Street Art is Street Art is Street Art …

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2008 by victorbiola

stencil-jef-aerosol3Steinlen-milk-poster

 

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.

graffiti-in-melbourne-02graffiti-in-melbourne-03graffiti-in-melbourne-05by-108swoon-cut-outstencil-jef-aerosol1stencil-jef-aerosol23

Stencils In Fitzroy

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , on November 5, 2008 by victorbiola

Here are some photos taken in the back streets of Fitzroy (around Leicester Street) in October. They show various stencils and other drawings from that area. I will add to these over the next days.

satellite-fitzroy-stencilsface-fitzroy-stencils2-blue-men-fitzroy-stencilschopper-fitzroy-stencilsvarious-fitzroy-stencils

Let me know if you like them and feel free to share the images.

Victor Biola

 

Below is an image with a link to a very good article on Fitzroy and Collingwood. I love the image and all credit goes to http://members.virtualtourist.com

stencil-moka-express

Stencils are Gay

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2008 by victorbiola

On Tuesday I went on a tour with some friends through some of the back streets of Melbourne. We found some good pieces of art around Leicester Street in Fitzroy. There were some more political stencils and paste-ups.

There were some excellent works, but nevertheless the main wall looked messy and overworked. It felt a bit like an argument in our parliament, a lot of creators with big egos. The saddest creators were some taggers who just placed their stuff right on top of many good stencils.

Some of the alleys around the corner looked better and just had a less over-worked feel. We then found more walls around Fitzroy Street and there it became just plain ugly. It looked like a bunch of retarded teenagers went mad. People’s houses looked like they got raped and attacked by the taggers. I felt sorry for the residents of that street. The stuff was just plain ugly and selfish, actually ridiculous. Well, one of the tags read: Stencils are gay.

Whatever! What does that say about the writer?

I will place a few of the images from the trip here. Please feel free to add to it or to leave links to some good sites.

You might notice at this stage that I personally prefer stencils and paste ups to tags. I particularly like political messages or good illustrations and quirky stuff. It is great to see things that are original and show that the creator has a mind of his/her own.

I have to go and have a coffee now

Victor Biola

Graffiti – Is it for You?

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2008 by victorbiola

Voice Your Opinion on Video

In a previous post Victor Biola featured a group of independent filmmakers – Core TV 1. Well, they have now put together a Call For Entries in regards to graffiti and EVERYONE can now voice their opinion on a video.   > Call For Entries <

So, if you have an opinion, get it out there and make it count.

Victor Biola

Graffiti Documentary

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2008 by victorbiola

Graffiti seems to have become a topic that polarises the community throughout the world. It is interesting to see the various interest groups and lobbies here in Melbourne and the same trends can be seen world-wide (see some links below) . You might find it interesting to read up on opinions at this blog:

www.coretv1.wordpress.com

There is also a questionnaire about that topic that is fun to answer. They are a new group of independent filmmakers working on a documentary on graffiti in Melbourne.

Personally, I must say that I have very mixed opinions on the topic. I live in a diverse city, Melbourne (by the way). We have our Jewish suburbs in the South and our Muslim community mostly in the Northern suburbs. There are various European groups, many Iraqis, Indians, Chinese, Malaysians, and various other East Asian groups. Basically we are a melting pot of diversity. Mostly the blend works and there is not a lot of negative tension. The diversity is generally very appealing from the culinary aspects through to the dating side of things. The world is here!

Well, back to graffiti. You find a very interesting mix of street art. There is a large amount of stencils, paste-ups and conventional graffiti in the CBD. There is also a fair of tagging happening there, but the tagging itself seems to dominate more in the outer suburbs, where the stencils become more rare.

Again, personally, I do not like tagging much at all. Graffiti artists often commence by tagging. That might be the case, but it does not make it more appealing. Many artists start somewhere, but the public generally gets spared to look at their first attempts. I find tagging very selfish and ugly. It annoys me.

Many vandals who are obsessed by their own tags hide behind a diverse and talented street art scene. I am not trying to say that only the best artists should be able to do street art, but there are to many selfish taggers out there imposing their ugly stuff on everyone. It also has a tendency to devalue an area. If you want to sell your house, you will get less for it if someone has placed graffiti or tags on it.

In many cases graffiti adds colour to an area and it can therefore add artisitc value. In very few cases it will add property value and that is only if a majority of people feels attracted to that location due to the graffiti.
In many cases graffiti destroys the vibe of an area and I believe that it is a clichee that graffiti always adds artistic value. For a starter it is hardly ever done in respect to the architecture. I doubt that the majority of taggers ever consider imagery and colour after picking the location.

There should be and will be a space for art in the streets of our urban centres regardless of laws. This will not change in the future. It seems to be a natural need to our species to express ourselves as well as marking our territory. One might say that there is a primitive notion in that, but it does not change the nature of it.

Your views comments are as always welcome!

Cheers,

Victor Biola

 

Another few interesting blogs/sites that I found on this topic:

Site on Southern Californian graffiti and street art, set up in support of book ‘Graffiti L.A., Street Styles and Art –  http://graffitila.com/

Site of Chicago activists (pro-graffiti) – http://www.counterproductiveindustries.com/gbgc/

Detailed website on global graffiti, intelligent write-ups, interesting vids and good imagery!!! – http://www.ilovegraffiti.com

See also: http://ilovegraffiti-en.blogspot.com/2008/10/more-debate-in-australia.html

YouTube site – send in your video opinion on graffiti – www.youtube.com/coretv1

Interesting post with good background knowledge – http://cuidado06.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/19/

Opinions –  http://subcorpus.wordpress.com/2007/04/26/is-graffiti-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder/

Irish voice on the topic – http://kirribilli.wordpress.com/2008/05/25/artvandalism/