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Monday’s Suggestion (09-13-10)

In Monday's Suggestion, Rich, Street Art on September 13, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Some Street Art Websites

The idea of counterculture  has changed. Up until about six years ago, the only way to get in early on an up-and-coming band or find out about a can’t miss street mural on the LES was good old fashion word-of-mouth. This system was designed to keep the number of people ‘in the know’ limited to a select few who would ‘truly appreciate it’; And it did a great job of doing so. Those deemed cool enough to have access to this information were often accused of some sort of backwards elitism, where they were seen as considering themselves somehow cooler than everyone else because they knew some shitty band a year before they became a blip on the mainstream radar or were aware they saw a piece of art stenciled on a random wall where a thousand other people walking past that day only saw ‘graffiti’. They had their own club with a very few members, and to a large degree they had control over who was added to their ranks.

Enter google.

These days anybody who has heard a whisper about something that sounded exclusive in the creative world and has access to a google search bar can be in on the secret. I’m sure this pissed off a lot of people in the counterculture old guard who now have nothing to hang over other people as an excuse for why they are socially awkward (I’m including myself in this so don’t be offended…), but it’s actually a pretty great thing. A lot of really talented artists are getting exposed to hoards of people who would have otherwise not seen their work. Although that might not be the goal of a handful of them, I imagine this is a blessing for a lot of these artists.

Here are some places to visit on the web that can get you acquainted with “street art”.

(1) www.streetsy.com – “streetsy” bills itself as a “group conversation about street art and related topics curated by a number of passionate street art lovers”. It works largely like an open forum, allowing individuals to upload pictures of pieces they see around their neighborhood or that they find on the internet. In addition to the main site, streetsy also has an associated flickr account with over 200,000 street art images so if you’ve seen everything new on the site, there’s plenty of back-up images to sift through and keep you busy. When posting on streetsy there is however one catch, you can’t post your own work. I’m all for self-expression, but I actually applaud this. Too often on open submission sites, there are 3 gems per 100 posts, the rest of which is just people spamming the forum with their own pieces. I guess somewhere along the line people began convincing themselves that by repeatedly throwing their mediocre work in other’s faces, the masses would somehow be duped into thinking it’s actually worth looking at. Streetsy’s not buying it.

(2) www.hyperallergic.com – Where streetsy.com has a sort of informal charm, hyperallergic.com is a bit more traditional in it’s approach. The site is a little under a year old, and is a self described “blogazine”. It’s Williamsburg, BK-based, so expectedly some of it’s content borders on hipster drivel, but as a whole it’s a great site and I’ve found a lot of great pieces on here. They also have a cool offshoot of the site hosted on tumblr called HYPERALLERGICLABS which they describe as “a visual laboratory that mines the internet for images, memes, quotes, links and videos” and a Podcast called HyperAllergicTV which they launched last month and is pretty interesting (I personally get all the information I want from the email updates, but if you crave more it could be worth it to check out the podcast).

(3) www.weburbanist.com – This is the site with the broadest range of content covered. It examines everything to do with the aesthetics of the urban environment from architecture to urban design to subversive art (a more official sounding way of saying street art). They publish roughly five to seven new articles a week, which they offer in a daily newsletter. I am happy enough with just checking out this daily update, and don’t really visit the actual URL very often, but as I pointed out with the other two sites, there is a good amount of archived articles that will probably still be relevant, so if you have time to kill this is another site that you could probably get lost on for hours.

Enjoy!

-Rich

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