Art on the Street

Street art in my mind has always been simply the addition of paint to the walls surrounding our streets. But what is its purpose? Is it to place the message within your art into the minds of other people? Is it to brighten their days with a little creativity and wonder? Or is it because you simply enjoy spraying toxic fumes into the ozone layer? Whatever the reason, street art is an amazing thing. Its a look into the imagination of our fellow Portlanders. But lets get back to the definition of “Street Art”which is defined by our friend Merriam Webster as “…”well.. there is no legitimate definition. So why do most people assume street art to be spray paint on abandoned walls? Well, a little ingenuity and some spray paint goes a long way and the way art is created can almost be just as amazing as the art itself. Please see for yourself..


This man is clearly brilliant.. and although he may have a little too much time on his hands, I think the message a rainbow portrays is not only happiness but acceptance, and he has shown his creative mind well. And although this may be only a little outside the box of classic street art, the product is essentially paint on a wall, rendering this part of the assumed definition. But this man knows that street art can be so much more. This next example is another piece of “art” from him. Remember… street art is more that paint on the wall.

Because our friends who wrote the dictionary couldn’t do it, lets define street art for ourselves…

1. Street art must be visible in public areas.

2. Street art is any medium used to convey a message or idea.

And…

3. Street art must have a message to be conveyed. Wether or not that message is left up to the observer to decide is not relevant. Everyone will decipher their own message from the art wether or not it is obvious or even written in clear english.

Street art is whatever you want it to be. So go out and decorate our public space, because your imagination deserves a canvas and the canvas can be your world.

By: Kate Harrison

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