Street Art Or Just Graffiti?

Over the years while on my travels around the world, I have always been amazed at the depth and quality of street art. Sure, this kind of ‘graffiti’ or ‘illegal’ art has been with us since mankind first began writing. Take a trip around any ancient monument and you’re sure to find some kind of graffiti that was carved into the stones shortly after being laid by stonemasons. However, these days street art has become more colourful, more interesting, and a lot more thought provoking.


The side of a house in Brighton England


Some say that street art is often motivated by a preference on the part of the artist to communicate directly with the public at large, free from perceived confines of the formal art world. Street artists sometimes present socially relevant content infused with aesthetic value, to attract attention to a cause or as a form of “art provocation” and as a result have been known to travel from country to country to spread their designs.


Street art certainly comes in many forms and in recent years the term has become an umbrella term for any work of art that is created or placed in a public area. Included within this term, are certain works of graffiti that have been decidedly labeled as works of art rather than works of vandalism. Due to the very subtle difference between street art and graffiti, it has come into debate for many whether certain works quality as art or not. While the difference between the two may be subtle, it is used as a differentiator for those who review and analyse the works everyday.




Spotted in Exeter England

What’s What:


Street art – visual art created in public locations, usually unsanctioned artwork executed outside of the context of traditional art venues.


Urban art – a style of art that relates to cities and city life often done by artists who live in or have a passion for city life.


Guerrilla art – differs from other art forms in the fact that it has no external boundary between the image and the environment.


Graffiti art – generally made up of written words that are meant to represent a group or community in a covert way and in plain sight.


Stencil graffiti – a form of graffiti that makes use of stencils made out of paper, cardboard, or other media to create an image or text that is easily reproducible.


Sticker art (also known as sticker bombing, sticker slapping, slap tagging, and sticker tagging) – a form of street art in which an image or message is publicly displayed using stickers.


Street installations are a form of street art – while conventional street art is done on walls and surfaces, street installations use three-dimensional objects set in an urban environment.

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