Street Art: A new form of Communication
Kazi Falguni Eshita
Street art, especially visual art is developed in public spaces. It also works as a good way of conveying messages to the general public in a colorful, yet informative way, which works better than normal conversation language at times. This one term can be used to define quite a number of unique ways of expressing something through art.
Street art includes graffiti, which are writings or drawings scribbled, scratched or sprayed on walls or other surface in a public place. In Bangladesh, sometimes advertisements using spray paints on walls can be seen. Street art encompasses many other media and techniques. LED art or light art, mosaic tiling, murals, stencil art, sticker art, lock on sculptures, street installations, wheat pasting, wood blocking, video projection and yarn bombing.
Traditional graffiti has become a popular way of advertising, so graffiti artists also work on contract for corporations at times. However, street artists also tend to keep their work unaffiliated and strongly political. Street artists are those whose work is largely done in public areas without official approval. Street art can be found around the world and artists often trot around the globe to spread their works. Street art can be a powerful platform for reaching the public. So some artists use it as a way to raise awareness of social and political issues. Moreover, street art allows artists to exhibit their works to a much broader audience compared to traditional art galleries.
The central Newtown district is a center for street art in Johannesburg of South Africa. Occasionally street art exhibitions were also held here.
In the night between 17th and 18th of June 2011, the monument of the Soviet army in Sofia, (the capital of Bulgaria) was painted by anonymous street artists. The Soviet soldiers illustrated in the creation for a few days turned into Superman, Ronald Mac Donald, Santa Claus and others. It was a controversial subject and there were many supporters of the artwork remaining the same and many against it. In the early morning of June 21, 2011, the work was cleaned.
The Berlin Wall was constructed to separate Germany and Berlin during the Cold War. It was an ideal place for people to express their positive or normative opinions through artwork. It not only became popular among artists all over the world, it also became popular among tourists to visit and admire the wall. However, much of the artwork was not claimed and the artists remained anonymous. Much of the controversial artwork has been removed now. Not a lot of art has been added since the 1990’s.
One can notice special Bangladeshi street art like a lizard, a stencil drawing spray painted on a street sign. (This can be seen in Gulshan). Nowadays, street art is also shared through social networking sites like Facebook, allowing a wider audience besides pedestrians to quench the thirst of their eyes by a glance at the marvelous creations. Nowadays, special groups like Studio Bangi or School for Everything Else (SEE) are becoming popular platforms for people to share ideas through chalk drawings, wall paintings and stencil graffiti work. The way street artists visualize social contradictions and their artistic and creative way can be inspiring to even those who are into traditional artwork.
Without permission, if an artist added or changed anything in the paintings of a gallery it would be considered damage and destruction. Contrary to which, the beauty of street art is that any addition helps to improve the message. There’s never been any reason for street art to be culturally unacceptable.
SEE has hosted two street art festivals at Dhaka and with their network growing day by day, something more than a glimmer of hope regarding this comparatively small niche of art, which someday it will flourish to be a popular form of expressing oneself regardless of festivals.
Art has been ruling the streets of Bangladesh in the form of rickshaw painting, alponas etc. So Bengalis obviously can make street art a useful hobby very soon.