It would be an understatement to assert that street art, which emerges in all (in)conceivable sorts and sizes, is multifaceted. Indeed, painted surfaces of huge proportions are alternated with interventions on a human scale. Abundant use of colours and materials is side by side with aesthetic minimalism. Imaginative images are interspersed with realistic depictions while visual jokes are juxtaposed with serious messages.
Considering their name, (commissioned) murals are predictably located on the sides of houses and other buildings. In case of unsanctioned works, however, no location in public space seems too weird or beyond reach. Tunnels, trash bins, posts, trees, billboards, street signs, stairs or, for instance, chimneys high above street level are all deemed perfectly suitable for artistic acts of rebellion. Street art as well as graffiti can potentially be encountered on any physical object and generally speaking, this most likely comes to pass along railway tracks, on patches of urban wasteland, on deserted (industrial) sites with dilapidated structures and in somewhat less developed, ungentrified (though perhaps emerging) parts of town.
Street art is site-specific by nature, i.e., the surroundings are important in as much as they give an artwork additional significance. In some instances the urban fabric is actually an integral part of a work of art, in which case they’re inextricably entwined. This holds true for many of the installations by Vlady and Octavi Serra, to name but two examples, but can also be witnessed on some of the pictures in the photo series below.
Along with a few examples of graffiti and tagging, the series shows just how versatile street art can be. Naturally, it doesn’t highlight the many-sidedness of contemporary urban art practice in full, but at least it provides clear evidence that a rioutous celebration of autonomous creativity has long conquered many cities around the world.