Have you been following the ruckus about Banksy in New York City? He's a successful British street artist who's been making his mark on Manhatten this month. You can follow along on a website dedicated to his New York work. He's talented, clever and witty with a huge dose of social commentary. How can you not love his Meatpacking District truck, Sirens of the Lambs!?!
New York has had many famous street artists, most notably Jean-Michel Basquiat. However, Paris has more than its share. In fact, even Banksy admits his debt to Blek, the granddaddy of Paris graffiti artists. Good street art seems to be an urban phenomenon. Most Paris visitors have returned home with street art photos.
In my little town of Petaluma, we are always on the lookout to remove gang graffiti as soon as it appears. We don't seem to get the high-class street art of big cities. Of course no one wants ordinary tagging on their property.
Do you see a difference between street art graffiti and vandalism graffiti? And if so, what is it? Is it only a function of bourgeois values? Most new art movements have been seen as transgressive at their inception. This is how one graffiti artist, Lush, sees it (from streetgiant.com)
Is this an art form for the young that those of us of "a certain age" just don't understand?
Should we dedicate public space to it?
Is street art something to celebrate?
Where do YOU stand?