The street art of Brad Downey is a special breed of subversive. Downey approaches the city with the open mind of a child but interacts with it in all seriousness. His work emphasizes city features and spaces that are often quickly passed by. Downey then interacts with these spaces in an artistic manner – a manner which strangely feels as natural as their utilitarian purposes. I find myself wanting to try many of these simple pieces out in my own neighborhood.
Street artist Mobstr produced this piece, The Story. Each painted-over line of the story allows the next to proceed. Much of Mobstr’s street art works on assumption that his work will soon be painted over – it relies on its inevitable destruction. Like his story states, his distinct approach to street art makes use this “strange harmony”.
The work of artist Christopher Derek Bruno playfully interacts with perspective shifts. Some of his art only comes into a cohesive whole when viewed from a very specific angle. Other pieces have multiple forms depending on where a viewer is standing. In a way, his art uses literal multiple perspectives to comment on multiple social perspectives. As his work changes from one vantage point to another, the reading of any work of art changes with each viewer. In this way one piece becomes several.
The street art of Sergio Gómez brings the latest in abstract art and graphic design to urban walls. Unlike much complex and text heavy street art, Gomez’ work primarily relies on primary colors and simple geometric forms. He seems to borrow as much from art styles such as Suprematism as he does from principles of graphic design. Gomez’ street art even seems to express a similar tendency to some the most exciting new abstract painters often referred to as the New Casualists. The murals seem to acknowledge street art conventions but mischievously not deliver. His work is subversive in reclaiming public space while undermining expectations.
According to his website, the street artist OakOak “is a French artist who likes to play with urban elements”. Using simple means and materials, OakOak undermines his neighborhood with playful results. He uses a minimal amount of actual original artwork, instead re-purposing signs, facades, cement blocks, chipping paint, and more. OakOak transforms a neighborhood’s imperfections into its own adornments. He says of his interventions:
“The less I intervene on the wall or the road, the better, especially if I can totally change the sense of the urban environment” [via]
Street art has undergone some interesting developments of late. While not entirely forsaking its aerosol heritage, street art has definitely become more adventuresome in terms of medium in the past few years. Artist MRtoll exemplifies this well. While MRtoll’s aesthetic may resemble that of a stencil or poster artist, his medium is a bit more peculiar: clay. MRtoll works the clay into various images or texts then installs them on walls throughout Brooklyn. He often uses his clay in a nearly painterly manner creating impressive two dimensional work. Other times, his work is text based, seemingly a text or a tweet, playful much like its medium.
Australian artist Buff Diss brings an interesting medium to the spray paint dominated world of street art: tape. Intricately cut and stuck, Buff Diss’ often large scale pieces can be astoundingly complex. Some of his work intentionally interacts, even plays with the surrounding environment. At other times his work seems to reference classical sculpture and painting. However, he consistently works in this peculiar medium. Regarding the reasons for using tape in his process he says:
“The functional or practical nature of tape is one of its best aspects as a medium; you don’t have to walk into a snooty, over-priced art store to find it. The linear quality of tape also makes it a quick medium to work with. Only drawback is looking like you’ve got a stationery fetish when you open your bag.” [via]
Argentinian Street artist Jaz can often be seen at work with an aerosol can in one hand in a brush in the other. He sprays and blends in a way that makes his work especially expressionistic for street art. Jaz’ style and process are more often found on the smaller scale of the canvas gallery. While consciously veering from the typical New York based street art style, Jaz says
“But the main idea about graffiti is to work in the street. It isn’t about the tools you use of the paradigm of signing your name” [via]