“Art is a way to express yourself and through that you can escape a bad situation.” Russell Simmons
It seems there is a fine line between what is considered vandalism and what is considered an art form. Would have to say that covering the side of a rusty eye soar of a train car with colorful images and words is probably considered vandalism even though if done tastefully it is definitely an improvement.
Street artists have been around for years, and not just in the United States. There is quite a list of individuals who document and photograph the interesting and sometimes downright beautiful works painted by these street artists. There is usually a message within the murals and images. Please note there is a difference between a street artist and a gang just marking their territory; even though their artsy way of writing can be interesting sometimes. If they’re marking a train car as their territory, well, their territory might be gone by the next morning. So, we can probably safely say that not all is gang related and much of the train car graffiti is just individuals expressing themselves.
Martha Cooper’s Subway Art book was released in 1984. This colorful photo/documentary book broke some serious ground for the street artist when it was released. http://www.nycitysnaps.com/
Vivian Hertz, also known as Paviani, is a Belgian documentarist on urban art. His The Wanderers series is a wonderful compilation of works by the street artists. http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/paviani
Brenna Urban has been documenting street artists in the European countries. Places like Berlin, Barcelona and Madrid, London, and Paris are a few on his list. http://www.urbanartcore.eu/brenna-urban/
Perhaps the most well known and most important urban art photographer is Keegan Gibbs. A film school graduate, Keegan was born into a family of artists. He was raised near the ocean and found a wonderful way to express his love of life; which is through his photography. Since graduating film school Keegan has spent most of his time traveling and shooting film and photographs of the elements and people that make up his life. What an interesting, wonderful thing to do with your life! http://keegangibbs.com/
In time maybe we’ll catch some full blown murals on the train cars passing through. When and if we do you can bet they’ll be shared with you, but for now enjoy the slideshow of the urban artworks/graffiti from this past week.