It’s hard to find a draughtsman, painter, sculptor or street artist who hasn’t followed the example of artists from earlier periods. More often than not, works of art have been (partly) inspired by other works of art, it’s safe to say. In all its diversity, street art has not only been influenced by many other art movements, but is itself also full of references to art.
A delightful chaos composed of arbitrary pictures and words that even after repeated viewings allows you to spot new things. What can this be other than a collage? Throughout the centuries, collage-like application techniques appear at different moments and in different locations, but it was only after 1900 – in conjunction with the rise of modernism and courtesy of the pioneers George Braque and Pablo Picasso – that this art form made a real breakthrough.
As is evident from the numerous images of spray cans, marker pens and paint rollers that can be found on the streets, you cannot but conclude that graffiti and street artists are very keen to call attention to the material that enables them to display their artistic skills. Art about making art, or in other words; meta art.
For many graffiti and street artists, a self-invented cartoonesque figure has become a trademark. KBTR and Oxalien are two glaring examples. In fact, they’re the names of both the silly figures as well as the artists themselves. The hot-tempered dwarf with his red pointed hat and the inflated bubble of pink chewing gum with horns and sharp teeth have, oftentimes together, spread across large parts of the Netherlands like a virus.