The subtly subversive work of artist Roadsworth fits well in the long history of street art. However, rather than finding his art on the wall, you’ll need to look down. Roadsworth, as his name suggests, sticks to asphalt. Making slight additions with paint to the language of road symbols, Roadsworth provides drivers and pedestrians alike with brain-interruptions for the morning commute. Roadsworth explains:
“The ubiquitousness of the asphalt road and the utilitarian sterility of the “language” of road markings provided fertile ground for a form of subversion that I found irresistible. I was provoked by a desire to jolt the driver from his impassive and linear gaze and give the more slow-moving pedestrian pause for reflection. The humourlessness of the language of the road not to mention what I consider an absurd reverence for the road and “car culture” in general made for an easy form of satire.” [via]
Artist and designer Jay Shells is behind the twitter feed @TheRapQuotes. He dispenses daily notable rap quotes as tweets. He has since taken the idea to the street. Shells creates street signs of hip hop quotes that mention specific places, then posts the signs at their mentioned locations. Many of the lines are from iconic songs and legends of the genre – easily recalled. Adding the context of an actual location with the signs adds further depth the memorable tracks they reference.
The murals of graffiti artist Peeta definitely, and nearly literally, stand out. Peeta uses a a familiar style peculiar to street art murals and tags. However, using careful perspective and shading, he’s able to create the illusion of depth. His work seems to twist and wind just above the wall’s surface. While Peeta does also create sculptural versions of his street art inspired work, the images featured here are entirely two dimensional. [via]
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]