Sidewalk street art. Do you even notice it? Do you know what sidewalk street art is? Well, today, that’s what we’re talking about: sidewalk street art.
Sidewalk street art is an often neglected yet vitally important form of street art. When walking through a neighborhood dense with street art and graffiti, such as Wynwood, Paris, New York, or London, it’s easy to get distracted by the striking murals covering walls, fences and pretty much any empty space. But if you take a minute and look down you will see some dope sidewalk art calling out from under your feet.
The colorful murals, some several stories high, created by artists inspired by both a vision and some cans of spray, are spellbinding and easily keep your focus turned upwards. For street art fanboys and girls, we can walk for hours, enthralled by an endless display of colorful confessions and social commentary.
For street art lovers, those communities and neighborhoods that have embraced street art, those buildings, blocks and alleys festooned with acrylic, spray and a piece of an artist’s soul have been transformed into our version of a gallery or museum. We could spend days wandering, enthralled and inspired by the power and immediacy of art- for and by the people- without the barriers erected by the gallery system or a museum board.
Bushwick has become our MOMA, Wynwood is our Met, and we prefer the small winding rues des Belleville et Montmartre neighborhoods over Le Louvre.
COLORFUL SIDEWALK STREET ART
Sidewalk street art is often, though not exclusively, stencil work. It can be colorful, political or created to smash social justice into a thousand bits. It can be as simple as a bomber with can of black stopping for thirty seconds to scream something into the ether. It can be a series of stenciled letter work. It can be upbeat, positive and life-affirming, or it may just call bullshit on bullshit. It may implore all of us to do- and be- better. It can be a call to arms or a call for peace.
When strolling through neighborhoods or cities where street art explodes, take a moment every once in awhile to look down. You may find the inspirational quote you need that day, or you may get kicked in the balls. Either way, you’re gonna feel something.
Insect series by Brasilian artist Feik Frasão.
WRITTEN SIDEWALK STREET ART
With Americans ditch-stuck in a political climate where brown people are so frequently demonized and targets of hatred and needless violence, I adore this message.
Check out artist & wordsmith Cynthia Gomez on Instagram at @human_writes.
I had the pleasure of meeting and throwing a few back with Barcelona-based artist Konair during Art Basel 2016. This is one of the stencils he dropped in between painting walls with Miami-based artist Chy Tea.
Here is Mitrooper stencil by artist Chy Tea, who describes the Mitroopers by saying, “The Mitrooper represents the fighting spirit in everyone who has been a “trooper” at some point in life. We all have stood strong through hard time and good times. Mi stands for me, and trooper is within you. The Mitrooper is a protective soul, guarding each individual and the universe. Mitrooper gives hope to the hopeless, courage to the doubtful, and and strength to the weak. At the end of each tunnel there is a light. Stay positive. Stay humble. Mitroopers are all around the city reminding you to stay strong because you are a Trooper too.”
This is the kinda chick I could dig…if I digged chicks in that way.