Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Animated Street Art from BLU


Couldn't resist sharing this new video from the graffiti/street artist from Italy, BLU. In this video he uses stop-motion animation techniques to transform street painting into an extraordinary animated film called Big Bang - Big Boom. I think this is especially interesting as it blends multiple art forms - street art, performance art (it is clear that many people had to have watched the creation of this as a work in progress) and eventually a film. When all of this is free, how does the artist make money?  For one, he sells prints, drawings and books via his Web site. This is all part of the convergence going on now: "outsider" artists are now "inside". Renegade street artists are now at the Tate Modern (as was BLU) and are selling coffee table books. Finding the line between "vandalism" and "art" is increasingly difficult. We ran into this in a small way recently with the Philagrafika art fair here in Philadelphia. A participating artist wanted to wheat-paste "broadsides" throughout the historic district on lamposts, benches, etc., as a way of introducing a populist, public art component to this festival of print-making in all its forms. Yet to the City and the local Business Improvement District, this was defacing public property. In the end we found a compromise - the flyers were not wheat-pasted, but tied on with string, which the folks who do the cleaning agreed to leave up. In the old days, the artist would have just wheat-pasted without asking, and the City would have just removed the "vandalism." And graffiti artist Steve Powers has now done A Love Letter For You with the Mural Arts Program, which was originally formed to fight graffiti artists like Powers. This was a brilliant project and another great example of the transformation that has been taking place for many years.

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