Funny, touching, disturbing, involved…numerous adjectives can be employed to define the urban frescos that we encounter everyday in every city of the world. However, regarding the fact that it is more and more present in sale houses and galleries, some think that the street-art is “domesticating” itself and is losing its underground identity and its protesting values. Artsper offers to look into ten street-artists of whom creations and visions you must know.
Evidently, we cannot broach the street-art subject without talking about Bansky. Mixing politics, humor, poetry and putting on stage children, soldiers or even monkeys, Bansky’s stencils have become an essential reference for every street-artist. In turns provocative, disruptive or protesting, Bansky, whose identity is still a mystery, calls us to mind and makes us react to each of his works of art.
Alexandro Farto alias Vhils is a Portugese street-artist born in 1987 and whose notoriety exploded when Bansky invited him to the London Cans Festival in 2008. Vhils travels around the world to create his monumental frescos, by revolutionizing the traditional technique of stencil. Whether it be a wall or a wooden board, Vhils tucks into his work with different means such as scissors or a jackhammer, in order to carve his stencil directly on the support, playing with its story.
ROA is a Belgian artist from Gand, mainly working in Europe but also in the United States. He creates gigantic frescos, most of the time representing animals such as rats or birds, generally in black and white. His work is notably a reference to the classification of species and the taxonomy.
Eduardo Kobra is a Bresilian artist who began his career in 1987 at Sao Paulo. Kobra transforms the urban landscape thanks to big bright and colored frescos in the streets of New York or Paris. Often colored with political messages such as global warming or deforestation, Kobra’s works and their kaleidoscopic effects have an in-their-own-right place in the worldwide street-art.
We have all seen in the streets of Paris or Los Angeles the “invaders” of this French artist whose identity is secret and who appears with a hidden or pixelized face. Since the late 90s, Invaders has set up in the street his small mosaics inspired of the 80s video games. The will of the artist is double, i.e. “infect” the public visual space by transposing video games to reality.
David Choe is an American street-artist, enthusiast of graffiti. Just as an anecdote, at the request of Mark Zuckerberg, David Choe is the artist who tagged the Facebook office when the start-up was launched. As an exchange for his tags, Choe received some Facebook shares worthed up to 200 millions of dollars today.
Like lots of street-artists, we don’t know who is hidden behind ABOVE. We just know that he was born in 1981 in California, that he began his career in the street-art around 1995 and began to be known in Paris in the early 2000s. As the visual translation of Above, its large arrows oriented to the top are painted on pickups or ad panels. In addition to his famous arrows, ABOVE is now traveling around the world, painting some “visual illustration” of expression in several languages.
“La rue est la plus grande galerie d’art au monde” (The street is the biggest art gallery of the world), says JR who made himself known throughout the world by freely exhibiting his black and white photographs in the streets, especially favelas and slums. JR also pays tribute to women in his work and in his movie “Women are heroes”.