Ein künstlerischer Spaziergang der besonderen Art

Street Art - What is that?

Street art and graffiti are often equated. But that is not correct. But what is street art actually? 

The term street art covers various, mostly non-commercial forms of art in public spaces. The term street art is rarely used in order to avoid confusion with the term street art.

This is because while street art simply uses the street as a presentation surface, street art aims rather to communicate with other people through the signs in urban space. In doing so, the artists certainly pursue the intention that their works should also be permanently preserved.

The difference to graffiti is primarily that in street art the pictorial part outweighs the artistic writing.

Since 2005, the term street art has included different techniques, materials, objects and art forms in public space. In this respect, there have been several art movements that have influenced street art. One of the first works according to today's understanding of street art is this large mural on the Große Freiheit in Hamburg, which was created in 1968 by Werner Nöfer and Dieter Glasmacher:

Since around 2000, street art has been seen as a movement and since 2005, this movement has then also been called street art. Before that, there were only individual artists and terms such as post-graffiti or urban art were used for their work.

American graffiti differs from street art in that graffiti is primarily about the artistic writing of names. Today, street art, graffiti and other forms of art in public spaces are usually subsumed under the umbrella term urban art. In the media and in common usage, however, terms such as street art, public art, urban art and graffiti are often used synonymously.

To create their works, street artists use a wide variety of media such as markers, brushes and paint rollers, spray cans, stencils, stickers or posters. Walls and house facades are usually used as the background, which are painted or pasted over.

However, electricity boxes, traffic signs, telephone boxes, traffic lights, lanterns, rubbish bins, park benches, pavements, streets, trees and countless other surfaces in public spaces can also become canvases. However, street art is usually limited to surfaces that already exist. There are often overlaps between the techniques of street art and those of graffiti. For this reason, it is difficult to clearly distinguish between the two forms.

What all street art variants have in common is that they are accessible free of charge and can be found outside established places of art education. The term thus encompasses the wide range of visual artistic work in public space and includes both official and unofficial forms of art.

Two projects of this kind in Ludwigshafen, Germany:

First of all, the MURALU project must be mentioned, which was launched in 2018 by the Wilhelm Hack Museum with the aim of artistically and attractively upgrading some of Ludwigshafen's façades and other dreary areas.

Somewhat later, in 2020, the DEUTSCHE BAHN (operator of the German railway) fortunately decided to have a group of artists upgrade the less than edifying subways in the main railway station: this has been extremely successful!

Both projects can be found on these pages:

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