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The Contemporary, A little about the Urban Art by Rosângela Vig
Modernity is the transient, the ephemeral, the contingent, is half of the Art, being the other half, the eternal and the immutable. There was a Modernity for each old painter: most beautiful portraits that provide us of past ages is coated customs of his own time. Are perfectly harmonious; and, the clothing, hairstyle and even the gesture, the look and the smile (…) form a whole full vitality. We have no right to despise or ignore the transitional element, elusive, whose metamorphoses are so frequent. Eliminating them, necessarily fall into the void of an abstract beauty and indefinable, as the only woman before the first sin. (BAUDELAIRE, 2007, P.26)
Amid the monochrome of the city, the artist, a creative impetus, did the walls and the walls, their canvas and, unceremonious, dyed with signs of life, what was concrete inanimate. The artistic graphite emerges as an encouragement to urban roughness, softens the coldness of concrete; distracts the lost looks unbridled mob in and out of transport; and especially proposes conjectures. The colors allow a transitional balance to mind constantly boiling the stress of the big city and the obligatorily of the day. At this point, the city acquires a poetic character. The immutable is the life, to Art is only passing through, is elusive in its mutations and monitors the evolution of the human mind.
The street artist leaves his record and perpetuates before a flustered today. To the viewer, what was once a simple wall, Now is the picture of an old time (Fig. 1) and it is possible that dialogue with this time. People look astonished to the image of the scenario that the present offers them. Oscar Niemeyer (Fig. 2), with open eyes, contemplates reflexive, with an enigmatic smile, the metropolis that sees, before their eyes. Maybe to him, the city is not as beautiful as he like. One can contemplate a fantastic animal (Fig. 3) emerging from an inert wall and seems to fly in the midst of rushing cars, next to a lighthouse, in the Consolation street corner in São Paulo.
The term Urban Art or Street Art refers to artistic events that take place in public spaces. The graphite, as one of the first forms of Urban art, arose between 1960 and 1970, in the streets of Philadelphia. This new model of Art, “illegal”, had field in New York, especially in public transport and in the subway. The graffiti artists at the beginning, tackled by police, as vandals, used the cans of spray paint to create colorful and elaborate letters and very large (Fig. 4), that were the trademark of their own names. Eventually, the letters became more complex, with new formats and mingled with beautiful colored drawings (Fig. 5), many social initiatives. The works, inspired at Pop Art by Roy Lichenstein 1 (1923-1997) and in popular culture, eventually conquer space. Some graffiti artists, like Keith Haring 2 (1958-1990) and Michel Basquiat 3 (1960-1988), came out of hiding and became known in the world of Contemporary Art. In New York, Haring was arrested for his famous mural “Crack is a drug” (Crack is Wack), in which the artist showed his disgust by the lack of government action, on the increase of drug use in the city. His wall came to be deleted, but due to the aftermath of the fact, Haring was allowed to redo it.
In the late 90, graffiti took new formats, acquiring a character figurative, with the use of adhesives, stencils and posters, which would facilitate the production and enable faster uptake, by the public. In this graphite phase, showed up, among others, Banksy 4 (Fig. 6) and Barry McGee (1966-). In Brazil, it is especially Eduardo Kobra, as reference in this Art. Born in São Paulo, the artist began to become known 1987 and currently has murals known in his native town, and the world 5. Are among its themes, personalities like Oscar Niemeyer, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Abraham Lincoln and John Lennon. The artist also address issues such as the environment, in his project Greenpincel, whose powerful images, leave evidence in its condemnation of acts against nature, in all its forms. The hallmark of his art is the use of vibrant colors, merged to geometric shapes, amid celebrity figures and urban scenes. His murals, scattered cities in Brazil and the world, are unmistakable and, more than provide the pleasurable feelings by vein Beauty, his Art questions in a smart way and induces depth thoughts.
It is worth remembering that the graphite, as Art, is justified, works with the intellect, is beautiful and softens the harshness of urban life, unlike graffiti (Fig. 7), which has no connection with Art, and are totally reprehensible, by dirty the city and damaging public and private assets.
The graphite enabled the popular artists, of unquestionable talent stand out from the contemporary avant-garde and the art world. And, more than that, the style took his own Art to the street, through a Beauty with intellectual sense, about current issues and often, strong, arousing criticism and provoking discussions.
1 Roy Lichenstein
2 Keith Haring
3 Michel Basquiat
5 Kobra – Globo video in Nova York
Video about Kobra:
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