Blu is an Italian street artist from Bologna, Italy. He started painting in a capital of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna Region and has been involved in street since 1999.
His work can be seen through the world and his style is easily recognizable. Blu’s pieces are known to be “epic scale murals.” Blu prefers to paint his works around the urban and industrial landscape. Like most street artists, Blu began painting graffiti with spray paint. He quickly gained recognition and fame by painting a graffiti series in the suburbs of Bologna. Over the next few years into the early 2000s, Blu’s graffiti style transformed thanks to his growing use of house paint.
He began to experiment with paint rollers and telescopic sticks. Not only was his graffiti art much larger, but his art conveyed a much more dramatic appearance. He quickly began to create huge human figures that were often sarcastic in appearance and resembled comic and video game art. Strongly influencing Blu’s early career were team efforts with other street artists like Dem, Sweza, Run, and Ericailcane. This camaraderie focused on establishing creative participation and helped lead to Blu’s experimentation with digital animation. He participated in many artistic endeavors with Ericailcane from 2003- 2006 which also helped him gain large recognition.
In 2005, Blu had the opportunity to travel to many destinations and was often invited to art festivals. At these festivals, he painted with other great artists from across the world, and even landed a spot in a festival called “Murales de Octubre” which was done in Managua, Nicaragua.
Niels Shoe Meulman is a visual artist, known for his gestural paintings which reveal vivid traces of Graffiti and Calligraphy. He revolutionized the art of writing when he initiated the Calligraffitimovement, claiming “a word is an image and writing is painting”.
Being a graffiti pioneer from Amsterdam, Shoe worked with New York counterparts such as Dondi White, Rammellzee and Keith Haring in the 1980s. Equally influenced by the great painters of Abstract Expressionism, he gradually found his own way to translate street attitude to gallery walls.
Experimenting within using different brushes and paints, brooms, but also unafraid to venture into new realms like conceptual installations and poetry, Niels Shoe Meulman keeps pushing the limits of Urban Contemporary.
In answer to the question:-
“Are graffiti artists- social commentators, propaganda artists or vandals?”
I think he would be classed as a vandal, even though when you over think the question over and over again you start making up reasons to call something, something else but if you get deep into it he could be socially commentating his thoughts, I don’t think in anyway they create propaganda by definition
information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.
I love the textures created by the stroke of the brushes and brooms and other mediums. Very similar strokes to Blackletter from the early hundreds but the drips and runs of handstyles of the streets. he always has bright contrasts between dark to light.
Are Graffiti artists social commentators, propaganda artists or vandals?
There is a very fine line between street art being art or vandalism. Personally I feel like it counts as vandalism when you see the random tags on fences and at the back of buildings or in abandoned places but when you see some actual effort put into it then it counts as art whether they’re getting commissioned or not. Overall I feel like they’re social commentators and they have the power to impact a mass group of people. But when it comes to artists like Phibs, I feel like he’s trying to get rid of the stigma that all street art is vandalism by creating amazing art pieces.
When it comes to street art/graffiti, Phibs is among the most renowned and respected names in Australia. His public art is creative and eye-catching in places such as Melbourne and Sydney. In Melbourne he has painted on walls around Fitzroy, an inner suburb within the city, which soon became known as “Phibsroy” by the locals. Phibs was originally from Sydney and came from a strong graffiti background as he was very active in community programs, which intentionally sparked his artistic potential of this now popular art form. Whilst in Sydney he also got commissioned to decorate a number of buildings such as Max Brenner’s in Paddington, the glow café in Newton and a number of alleyways.
In 2001 he moved to Melbourne, which exposed him to an ever-evolving Melbourne street art scene and joined the Ever fresh Studio collective along side with street artists, Rone and Mike Makka. It was also here where he made a name within the fine arts world and very quickly became one of the cities most respected and renowned artists – both on and off the streets.
Phibs works signifies the symbiotic. Engaging the urban with the organic. His works comes across in many different mediums and always consistently reflects his own unique realms of mythology, symbolism and multiculturalism. His works incorporate interwoven and overlapping letters and characters. Also largely inspired by nature his works also feature many animals such as fish, foxes and birds in a bright and vibrant mix of complimentary colours. He also explores an interest in shapes by fragmenting and breaking up these subjects. Another theme that can be found in his works is the use of indigenous and tribal motifs, particularly koru style curls.
Are graffiti artists- social commentators, propaganda artists or vandals?
Graffiti artists are I think are not only social commentators but also vandals. They are vandals because they do their art illegally in places and are given no permission to do so. This also gives them the unique ability to comment on social issues in places that can be publically viewed by large groups of people giving them the ability to influence the masses, this can be seen in the work of Zilda.
Zilda is a French based artist who has been spreading public art for more than 10 years in the streets of Rome, Lisbon, Naples and Belgrade. Although not much is known about his personal life he has said that his art represents his interpretation of myths, legends and fables. He uses ideas from the Greek tragedy, the Celtic legends, the Bible, the Latin mythology as well as other various ancient texts. He is also inspired by 50’s and 60’s Italian theater although he rarely speaks about this work. His art is formed by using both sketching and painting and is usually placed in public open places which allows him to have his work seen by large groups of people.
Zilda choose to put his work in public places because it allows his classic painting to be shown and contrasted to the modern city around and behind it, he spends hours searching form the right place so he can transforming the every day public space into “a realism infused with a dark and cruel romanticism, tinged with fantasy.” He believes that street art becomes a place where painting, scenography and photography can mix.
Are graffiti artists- social commentators, propaganda artists or vandals?
I find this question a little tricky to answer because it does depend on what you consider ‘street art’, as some people are intentionally out there to deface and ruin a public wall or building where as other artist are making these artworks to express themselves. I find that it’s just hard to distinguish a line between what is art and what is vandalism. To speak about street artists as a whole though I would have to say they are social commentators.
Keith Haring, born on the 4th May 1958 was an American artist and social activist who is well known form his response to the New York City street art culture through the 80’s. Haring expressed concepts of birth, death, sexuality and war through his art. His work was often very political and became quite a popular language in the 20th century. He was known alongside a bunch of other artists who brung elements pop popular culture ‘low art’ and non-art elements into the formal known ‘high art’ museum and gallery spaces.
The artists was well known for his use of clean lines and simple images giving a new life to figuration in painting. His cartoon like images also opened up a new pathway for undergrounds cartoonists.
He commercialised his work by creating a shop called ‘Pop Shop’ where he sold his artworks. With the arrival of this project he started reflecting on social political themes such as aids awareness, anti-apartheid and the crack cocaine epidemic.
Melbourne artist Ghost patrol’s diverse practice spreads across printmaking, drawing, street art, sculpture and other multimedia experiments. He likes to visit ideas of space exploration, cosmic scale and the super future. His visual worlds invite ideas and questions to methods of seeing beyond our own existence scale and atomic configuration, through the concepts of curiosity lead science and quantum physics.
Ghost patrol’s semi-anonymity allows him freedom and fluidity to explore various themes and contemporary issues. The small illustrated humans he draws explore themes of existentialism, space and the cosmos, science, mythology and folklore. They speak of the spiritual symbiosis between human beings, fauna and flora; a connection that humans beings have long forgotten or abandoned.
Ghost patrol’s acrylic and oil pastel art work expresses the spiritual connection between man and animal through Japanese folklore and religion. It depicts a figure clothed in a sky-blue robe, wearing a tall white hat, perhaps resembling an origami swan. The Japanese salutation ‘tadaima’ means ‘I’m back’ or ‘I’m home’, perhaps alluding to the swan’s migratory nature. The figure is painted floating with its arms and legs lifting off and is decorated with a constellation composed of confetti colours, captured in a moment of bliss.
Ghost patrol built an international reputation as a street artist working with ephemeral techniques such as stencilling and paste ups. More recently he has focused on illustration, painting and installation. Since he is interested in physics, the future of the universe and introducing his viewers to complex concepts through his inviting characters and worlds. For Ghost patrol the choice of material is not always important. He values the opportunity to experiment when perhaps more familiar materials are unavailable.
He travels the world painting and pasting and becoming more cosmic very in tune with nature and the inner child and exploring and science and fun and staying locked in continues to tell his story more in stripped back colourful concise murals as opposed to the paste ups and abando work he began with.