The Benefits of Street Art

What is Street Art?

Street art is a form of art, expressed on walls and on the outside of buildings in urban areas and in informal settlements. It has different rules and uses different materials.  Street art is a legal form of artistic expression. The street artists are asked to use their talent to create a mural or painted effect on a wall outside.

The Benefits of Street Art

Street Art is Freedom

Art is about expression, creativity, freedom, asking and raising questions, protesting, analysing, and even beautifying. A way to step beyond  convention. There’s freedom with putting work in the street. Street art is a remarkably diverse form of expression for people from all over the world. There are street artists in nearly every country in the world who are influenced and inspired by a multitude of cultures and styles. This has resulted in a wide and diverse body of urban or street art found all over the world.

Social Statements

Graffiti and street art have always had a history of being influenced by the present social issues. A lot of people have painted on the walls and buildings in their cities as a form of anonymous protest or social commentary. Some political statements are quite controversial; scrawled illegally and boldly in various countries and for various reasons. When people feel they have no power or influence but want to express their anger, hatred or defiance towards political injustice, this kind of art happens. But it is still a peaceful kind of protest.

Sense of Community

Street art is important to keep urban areas and informal settlements and their residents energised and inspired. In some areas artists and building owners come together to foster the creation of artwork that can be viewed as beautifying and reviving a city, rather than destroying it.

In some cities, independent murals are designed and implemented by artists with a personal connection to the neighbourhood. They will have the permission of the building owner. This relationship can then help develop positive interactions between businesses and members of their community. It is a very cost-effective way, both to keep surfaces free from vandalism, and to create visual cues to residents that the place they call home is desirable.[1]

The Street’s Newfound Character

These pretty, funky visuals are pleasing to the eyes but that is not the only reason why the artists painstakingly craft these masterpieces. Almost every piece of street art adds a definitive touch to the community residing there. 

The beautiful street art helps communities establish their identity and portray their essence in front of thousands of commuters.

The vibrant, often overlooked, vibe of communities is now put in front of the world in a way impossible to ignore. 

Mystery and Intrigue

With the invention of Instagram, and similar platforms, it’s now easier than ever to find artists’ official profiles and learn more about their work and why they do what they do.

However, a lot of street artists prefer to remain anonymous or use aliases for both privacy and legal reasons. There are also still artists who don’t even tag their work, so the intrigue and mystery live on.

Colourful Surroundings = Happier People

Art in the street makes people happy and can cheer them up. Street art makes their day and their commute more interesting. It adds character to what would otherwise just be grey and boring. 

Art reminds people to feel alive. It is there to beautify a space. It wakes people up, inspires and motivates them. And sometimes it can make people think. It may have some broader social commentary, or just be there to bring some chaos to the establishment. 

Street art takes the ‘normal’ and makes it a thousand times more interesting. Even if you live in poverty, there is something about bright colours and beautiful art that seems to fill the area with a contagious, buoyant optimism.

Street Art and its Transformative Capability

With the power of imagination and a wall as their blank canvas, street artists question, fight, and rebel against unacceptable norms of the society. 

They can influence thousands of people, whether it is for the greater good or expressing personal opinions. Street art as a tool possesses transformative powers, it transforms the object– definitely, but it also impacts communities.

For the poverty-stricken, street art acts as a tool to express their thoughts and communicate their stories to the world.

Its public and visible nature are what makes street art stand out as a transformation tool. Every bystander sees it: in contrast to art museums, where people pay for a ticket, street art has no charge. 

Through this type of art, the public becomes free to participate in the artwork. See, for instance, this snap of a man including himself within the artwork.

Many communities globally are using street art to voice their opinion and transform the thinking of the entire community.[2]