During a walk along the streets of most urban centers, one may encounter various artworks displayed on walls. The government does not sanction a sizeable percentage of these artworks. Street art refers to the illegal visual artwork. Street artists usually undertake their work despite the risk of arrest.
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Various street artists have gained worldwide popularity due to their street artworks. Some of the street artists include Alexandre Farto , Christian Guémy, Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and Brian Donnelly.
Banksy is a controversial street artist whose works are in walls in London, Brighton, and Bristol. Banksy has even exhibited his artworks on the walls of West Bank. Banksy’s real identity is still unknown. However, various sources claim to know his real identity.
Banksy has many fans due to his exquisite works of art. Banksy has several celebrity fans who include Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Christina Aguirela (Joseph para 3). Banksy has satirical artworks that use dark humor to express their message.
Banksy began his career as a graffiti artist during the early 1990s. Initially, he was a member of the DryBreadZ Crew (BDZ). During the turn of the millennium, Bansky ventured into stenciling due to the less time that it takes to stencil.
The shift to stenciling enabled Banksy to gain popularity in Bristol and London. Most of Banksy’s artworks have anti-establishment messages. He uses police officers, children, soldiers, and the elderly as subjects that enable him to express himself.
In 2004, Banksy made a sizeable number of fake £10 notes that had the portrait of Princess Diana instead of Queen Elizabeth. In an effort to discredit the Bank of England, Banksy satirically replaced the words ‘Bank of England’ with ‘Banksy of England.’ During the Notting Hill Carnival, a certain individual dished out the fake money to the crowd.
The notes fetched £200 on e-Bay. Banksy uses street art to express his political views. Some of the views may be controversial. Banksy also helps in the development of other artists. He hosts various exhibitions that provide other artists with a platform to exhibit their work.
In 2008, he hosted the Cans Festival in London. The festival provided a platform for various graffiti artists to display their skills. This has enabled Banksy to become one of the most famous and influential street artists.
Alexandre Farto is one of the most famous Portuguese street artists. He uses the pseudonym Vhils. Vhils has been a street artist since the tender age of 13 years.
He started his career by painting on trains. Vhils is a graduate of arts from the University of Arts London. Vhils credits his current popularity to the platform that Banksy provides other artists to enable them portray their skills. There are artworks of Vhils in Moscow, London, Lisbon, and New York.
Alexandre Farto adopted the name Vhils, since he liked spraying the letters (Jones para 3). Vhils started doing street art at the tender age of 13 years. When he was 17 years old, he started having a different picture of walls. Walls told the history of his country.
This motivated Vhils to start carving into walls to reflect the changing times. Vhils has various street artworks of everyday heroes (Jones para 6). These artworks are in various countries across the globe. Vhils tries to use street art to chronicle the changing times. Therefore, his artworks help in social development.
The Cans Festival provided Vhils with a platform that enabled him to attain his current popularity. During the festival, his work appeared alongside that of Banksy. Since then, Vhils has done several shows on his own.
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Vhils has held various shows in Lisbon, Paris, and New York. These shows have enabled Vhils to display his skills. In addition, the shows have enabled him to express his ideas. The shows also fetch Vhils a considerable amount of money.
Another famous street artist is Christian Guémy. Guémy uses the pseudonym C215. C215 is a 38-year-old French street artist who hails from Paris. The countryside background of C215 made him lack any connection to graffiti or stenciling work until he was 15 years old.
However, upon doing some graffiti at the young age he became bored with graffiti. He only returned to do graffiti work in his adulthood. The wish to create a souvenir by painting her daughter’s face on the streets was the main factor that motivated C215 to venture into street art.
However, his street artworks gained huge popularity prompting him to become a professional artist. Therefore, C215 did not set out to become a professional artist. He became a street artist by chance.
C215 grew outside the street art culture that influences most of the modern street artwork. C215 is opposed to the repetition, overconsumption, hype, and cynicism, which characterize most modern street artwork. C215 uses his artwork to give hope and dignity to the society. In so doing, he uses his artwork to shape a new civilization.
Most of the artwork of C215 consists of portraits of people. He uses beggars, homeless, and refugees as some of his subjects. These subjects enable C215 to use art to express himself.
These subjects help in refocusing the society on forgotten people. C215 uses artworks in various cities around the world. Some of the cities include Barcelona, Rome, and London. C215 is also involved in other commercial artwork activities.
Shepard Fairey is one of the most popular American street artists. Fairey, 43, hails from Charleston, North Carolina. Fairey’s involvement in art started in 1984 when he was 14 years old.
The quest to hone his skills motivated Fahey to join the Rhode Island School of Design from where he obtained a degree in Fine Arts in 1988. One of the earliest works of Fairey is ‘Andre the Giant Has a Posse.’ Fairey created this piece of art while he was still studying at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Soon after graduation, Fairey ventured into professional artwork by creating a small printing company. The company specialized in silkscreens and artworks on various clothing.
This enabled Fairey to develop his art skills. Later on, Fairey helped in the formation of various companies that were involved in professional artwork activities. One of Fairey’s most famous pieces of artwork is the Barrack Obama ‘Hope’ poster.
Fairey also has various street artworks. However, these artworks have landed him in problems several times. The risks involved in street artwork require artists to do street artwork discreetly. Street artists may face litigation from various parties due to vandalism of their property.
This is because street artists work on other people’s property. However, this does not prevent street artists from portraying their artworks in various public places. On February 2009, police arrested Fairey due to his graffiti.
Fairey uses street artwork as an avenue that enables him to express his ideas. In addition, Fairey has murals in several countries. Some of the murals are in London and Copenhagen (Bofkin para 1).
Brian Donnelly is another popular American street artist. The artist uses the pseudonym KAWS. KAWS hails from Jersey City, New Jersey. KAWS began doing his artwork by doing graffiti in Jersey City. In the 1990s, he relocated to New York City.
In New York City, KAWS began his career by subverting the imagery on various billboards and advertisements within the city. In so doing, he created attractive pieces of art. These advertisements remained in their reworked form for several months. This increased the popularity of the artist.
KAWS has been involved in various commercial artwork activities. During the late 1990s, he designed vinyl toys, which were popular in various countries. The success of the toys prompted him to form partnerships with various companies for the manufacture of clothing.
KAWS also designed the bottle of Dos Equis, a Mexican beer. Some of the artworks of KAWS include several acrylic paintings and sculptures. KAWS has remodeled various popular iconic figures. These figures include Mickey Mouse and the Smurfs.
The artworks of KAWS have enabled him to use his artwork in mass-produced merchandise. KAWS has produced various artworks that have been commercially successful as mass-produced merchandise.
However, KAWS continues to engage in various fine art activities that do not involve mass production. KAWS shows how artists can take advantage of existing commercial opportunities while remaining true to their profession.
Bofkin, Lee. “Street artist Shepard Fairey unveils largest mural in the UK.” The Guardian. 2012. Web.
Jones, Alice. “Vhils: The art of urban decay.” The independent, 2012. Web.
Joseph, Claudia. “Graffiti artist Banksy unmasked… as a former public schoolboy from middle-class suburbia.” MailOnline. 2008. Web.