UCS 001 Stephen Vilaseca on Street Art in Barcelona Valencia and Bilbao Spain (28 June 2013) Conversational interview inspired by scholar Stephen Vilaseca‘s recent article “From Graffiti to Street Art: How Urban Artists Are Democratizing Spanish City Centers and Streets,” originally published in the journal Transitions: Journal of Franco-Iberian Studies (8, 2012). Topics include: public space, graffiti vs. street art, artists Escif, Frágil and Dr. Case, Valencia, Bilbao, and Barcelona. [LINK TO ORIGINAL PUBLISHER]
Following up on a post here (reblogged below)–that got me thinking more about the work of art (and a project I’m working on regarding Henri Lefebvre’s thoughts on what he calls ‘the work’ combined with his thoughts on alienation) and its potential, I looked more into the street artist Gaia’s work in Baltimore on Howard Street. Images that form part of the artist’s “legacy series” are above–large images of Robert Moses and James Rouse.
The artist states that ‘I am calling this series Legacy and it is a very basic attempt to reinscribe the figures who have shaped our landscape back onto the surface of their legacy, the infrastructure and policies that we have inherited and must navigate.’
Images taken from: http://www.unurth.com/filter/Baltimore#ixzz1vt2t4qHj
It seems to me that art realizes its potential–Lefebvre talks about the “creative capacity” of the artist, by which he means something quite specific–when it “starts with experience,” and when it brings together what are normally seen as separate, fragmented areas of experience (social, political, economic, etc.). Only in this way can it serve a disalienating function. Gaia’s work is such a great example of what Lefebvre points out.
Street artist turned corporate artist Shepard Fairey had a name for himself before the Obama poster with the iconic “Obey” image of Andre the Giant (above–the 80s performance artist/wrestler [which is it again?] whose face was “both sinister and goofy” as Fairey explains in the video below). There are plenty of these stuck up over town in Charleston, SC (and likely in your town?), and he’s got some more recent work as well, such as this image on Spring street in Charleston which I’m told was just outside the historic-district zoning or it would have been taken down/painted over)