WHEN ART COMES FROM THE STREETS

Dare un volto alle strade, Milano, late May 2019_02 72

Since the first large graffiti appeared on the walls of Philadelphia in the mid-Sixties as territorial warnings by the local gangs – see Jack Stewart’s Graffiti Kings. New York City Mass Transit Art of the 1970s (NY: Abrams, 2009) – street art has had a double “social” meaning: the first is the author’s; the second is the meaning that passers-by give to what they see.

As with a song – in particular topical/protest songs – the skill of passers-by in appropriating street works becomes the core of the street’s independent art system: the feeling that the artwork arouses stays on the wall in a lasting way and can also condition the author and influence works to come.

The dual nature of the street work – whether a painting, a graffiti, a stencil, etc. – places the photographer/observer in a condition of knowing both sides of the coin.

Observing a street artwork in a neighborhood instead of another makes a huge difference. Knowing a street artist and seeing him at work in the street helps even more to understand how in the last three decades an independent/underground art became the center of attention for collectors and art galleries all around the world.

Dare un volto alle strade, Milano, late May 2019_01 72

Dare un volto alle strade, Milano, late May 2019_03 72

Dare un volto alle strade, Milano, late May 2019_04 72

Dare un volto alle strade, Milano, late May 2019_05 72

The series of black and white frames (taken with mirrorless cameras Fuji X100 and FujiFilm X30 and without the use of additional lights) were recorded in two moments: during the night, while artist Osmo Kalev created his work; and the day after when the work, whose title is RIOT, was already being lived by passers-by and curious people in the neighborhood – stickers and tags add new perspective to the work.

La strada ha un volto, Milano, late May 2019_03 72

La strada ha un volto, Milano, late May 2019_02 72

La strada ha un volto, Milano, late May 2019_04 72

Contaminazione artistica, Milano, early June 2019 72

 

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