The art of the unseen
The thing about street art is that, since it is illegal, it is most often done in unseen places, or places that are hard to reach. Surely you, too, have stared up at a piece of graffiti and sworn it had to have been done by monkeys or mountain goats? But no, street artists are often all too human, and they, like their art, often go unseen. Graffiti is, in its way, the truest expression of the heart, and like most true things, is often found in places both hidden and unexpected. Why not share the mystery with a painting that will combine conversation piece and décor perfectly?
Graffiti is not just limited to what is scrawled in public toilets and on the walls of the underground. It’s an art form both unique and precise, with rules just like any other, and to its practitioners and their audience, perhaps all the more precious because of its ephemeral nature – after all, most graffiti is removed fairly quickly by the local authorities. It’s a strange, unique form of art, almost primal in its intensity, and in the form of a canvas print, will brighten up almost any space with its manic energy.
Just as graffiti is the art of the unseen, it is also the art of the mysterious. Just look at the world’s most famous graffiti and street artist, known only as Banksy. Nobody knows Banksy’s real name or where exactly he came from, but they know his art. In the world of graffiti and street art, the art is the only thing that people see, and many say that this leads to a purer form of art. Pure or not, it certainly is mysterious. A canvas print of a piece of street art has to speak for itself, because it can’t rest on the reputation of the artist.
Art that speaks
Sometimes, when you look at pieces of graffiti or street art in just the right way, you realise that what you thought was just random colours and shapes, are actually words. Many pieces of street art are just words, scrawled over each other in a way that seems haphazard, until all you see is a blur that suddenly coalesces into a message. Whether it's names or poems written over and across each other, the art in this case is the message. In many ways, graffiti can be considered the modern equivalent of calligraphy. If you look at the calligraphy of old, the message was the art, and the art was the message. Both of them together, became something almost transcendental. Of course, not a lot of what is written on walls is along the same lines as what the old calligraphers worked on – hardly anyone is graffiti-ing a bunch of Bible verses on the walls of New York these days – but it’s a message nonetheless. Take your time decoding canvas prints of these works, and brighten up your home at the same time.
Art with attitude
Because graffiti and street artists work outside the boundaries of the ‘traditional art scene’, they are often willing to take risks with their work that no traditional artist would take. They can go wild, using combinations of colour and form to say whatever their message of the moment is, without wondering whether it will sell, or whether it will be understood. It’s a personal act, despite being so public, and it’s a glimpse of the spirit of a city. FBI agents have said that they look at the graffiti on the walls to gauge the mood of the people – when the graffiti is angry, so are ordinary citizens, but the graffiti artist has a means of expression that not everyone has the talent or desire to access. When you get canvas prints from our Graffiti and Street Art collection, what you are actually getting is a snapshot of the spirit of a place at one moment in time.