Whilst I agree that vandalism and defacing of public or other people’s private property are bad things, there is something quite spectacular and encapsulating about a well produced/conceived/executed piece of urban art.
From spray art and marker drawings to poster or sticker campaigns and sculpture, urban art can take many forms. It’s hardly worth getting into the ins and outs of what makes it art but when it’s art, you know.
Here are some of the best examples I’ve seen in recent years: for variety, skill and cleverness, I think you’ll agree there are some brilliant pieces here!
No. 10. Crystals & Lasers by Matt W Moore
Matt (MWM)’s incredible grasp of geometry, bold shapes and colour really draw me into his fantastic work – particularly this one, a bright mural in Paris as part of his Crystals & Lasers exhibition.
Before becoming (more) famous with his Hope poster for new president Barack Obama, his Obey campaign (featuring a stylised drawing of wrestler, André the Giant) could already be seen on cities around the world. Fairey’s work is digital urban art perfection and his style is one many designers, including myself, aspire to.
An unusual and highly creative, if destructive, method of image making, Vhils uses tools to chip away at the outer surface of walls to produce incredible enormous portraits. This one in Portugal shows the style brilliantly.
Where would any list of urban art be without Banksy?! Probably the world’s most famous urban artist creates witty, often political statements using his often imitated stencil/spray style. This piece in his home-town of Bristol is a fantastic example of Banksy’s humorous approach.
No. 4. Obsessions Make My Life Worse and My Work Better by Stefan Sagmeister
Highly regarded as a graphic designer, typographer and artist, Sagmeister’s piece at an event in Amsterdam in 2008 featured a typographic piece made up of 300,000 Euro cent coins. Despite its beauty and skill, you can imagine how long it lasted in tact!
I had a hard time choosing between work by Mueller and Julian Beever, both of whom create awesome anamorphic pavement murals which utilise perspective to dramatic effect. From one position the art will look stretched and abstract. From another you might feel like you’re looking into the abyss! Quite incredible skills.
Edgar Mueller’s website
No. 2. Medusa, anamorph by Truly-Design
This amazing piece of work is drawn on multiple planes, levels and surfaces to achieve an incredible anamorphic effect similar to but more complex than Mueller and Beever’s work. Again, from one angle the image is complete, yet from any other angle, the trick is clearly exposed. Quite mindblowing.
Creating this piece of animated graffiti (that’s right, animated) must’ve taken ages! Each frame is painted on a wall and shot before being covered up and replaced by the next frame. Commendable for patience as much as the visionary concept.