Street Art is born in the USA in New York during the 70s and then travels to Europe at the beginning of the 80s. Numerous cities are now welcoming street work art on their buildings. European Street Art is everywhere in cities like London, Berlin, Paris, Copenhagen…
Painting in the European streets
It is a contemporary art movement made and exposed in the street or public places. It gathers all form of art in the street and public places, like graffiti art, mosaic, stickers, objects, and so on. Sometimes it can be an ephemera art.
Big cities in Europe are now dotted with lots of Street work art. Let’s see how European Street Art history began.
First, Street Art starts in 1970 in the subway of New York, where Street artists made some simple tags and this became more and more sophisticated, colorful and the techniques were improved. Secondly, whole trains where covered by their work art. However the city of NY established a law to punish street artists because that their work wasn’t recognize as an art but more as vandalism.
1980: arrival of Street Art in Europe
In France, graffiti is considered as urban art and his illegal aspect interest lots of artists. The technique of stencil painting is developed. At the end of the 80s the Berlin’s Mall what entirely covered by graffities, draws and other slogan. That was due to the discontent of the Germans from the West side. People in the East side weren’t allowed to go near the Wall. European Street Art is forbidden in France and their authors are chased and punished. This is because of the fact that graffities are made on non-authorized surfaces. For example: trains, building walls, bridges… They are considered like harmful and deterring. The fines are high: about 1,500 to 30,000 euros and probability of imprisonment for max. two years.
Today there is many forms of Street Art expression. It can be painting: graffitis with spray-paint, paint brush, paint roller. It can also be sculptures in any material even the most original: with recycled objects, molding sculptures… Street Art can take so many forms, sizes, aspects.
Moreover, despite the artistic side of street art, some work art can be engaged. For example, it can be for a cause or for a specific historical event. It’s a way for artists to express their convictions or denounce inequalities, issues in the society just like the movement “Black lives matter” or for marginal communities like the LGBTQ+.