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How unsanctioned street art complicates idea of 'ownership' of public space, and the inherent politics of art
Unsanctioned, therefore, uncensored street art makes for a viable platform for social commentary and political critique, giving space and form to public opinion.
May 12, 2021 11:04:17 IST
This is the second part of a series on street art in India, and the issue of its ownership. Read the first part here.
In the month preceding India's fight against the coronavirus pandemic, a 40-foot mural was painted at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi, reflecting the perseverance of the women leading protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019 and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) at the site. It was painted by the Fearless Collective, founded by artist Shilo Shiv Suleman, along with protestors.
Artworks by the anonymous Kochi-based artist, Guess Who, are seen on the walls at Kochi, Bengaluru and Delhi, among other places. His works comprise art with cheeky taglines, criticising the government and media. There’s one of a dog barking from within a television screen, with ‘Barking News’ written above it. The artist often uses humour, which helps disrupt set narratives by presenting new perspectives to the public.
Street artist sues Vatican for using Christ image on Easter stamp: 'I couldn’t believe it'
Associated Press (LINK, with photos)
ROME – One night in early 2019, Rome street artist Alessia Babrow glued a stylized image of Christ she had made onto a bridge near the Vatican. A year later, she was shocked to learn that the Vatican had apparently used a reproduction of the image, which featured Babrow’s hallmark heart emblazoned across Christ’s chest, as its 2020 Easter postage stamp.
An Enhanced Summer Diversion
Since 2002, Stencil Archive has held down a well-painted corner of the World Wide Web. Our last upgrade was back in 2014, so welcome to today's newest upgrades!
The site may look a little different, but all the content is still a few clicks away. And, like the 2014 revision, Stencil Archive is responsive to all the devices that you surf the net with. As always, this is a no-profit project, with no advertising and no monetizing of your art, photographs, and data.
A few small tweaks may happen in the coming days, and then expect an overhaul of the deep and awesome Archive itself.
Keep checking in for new content. Enjoy the new look. And thanks as always for being part of Stencil Nation.
The World’s Oldest Cave Art Is Being Destroyed By Climate Crisis, A New Study Finds
BY JESSE HOLTH
ArtNews (Original Link)
May 14, 2021 6:02pm
Some of the world’s oldest cave art is being lost due to the detrimental effects of climate change, according to a new study on the effects of climate change on Sulawesi’s Pleistocene rock art conducted by Jill Huntley and others from the Place, Evolution and Rock Art Heritage Unit at Griffith University in Australia. In southern Sulawesi, Indonesia, more than 300 cave sites are at risk of deterioration—this notably includes some of the earliest cave art ever created, even older than some better-known sites in Europe such as Lascaux and Chauvet.
The art was created using red and mulberry pigments, and includes hand stencils, animal depictions, and images of human-animal hybrids. The Sulawesi caves are home to the oldest animal depiction—a warty pig that is at least 45,500 years old—as well as the oldest hand stencil in the world, made more than 39,900 years ago. One cave even contains what researchers describe as “possibly the earliest known narrative scene in prehistoric art” depicting a hunting scene.
In the midst of an economic crisis in 2001, there were too many ads in public spaces. They seemed to be everywhere. And I didn’t like looking at ads. I saw my artwork as an alternative way of using public space. And then in 2003, during the invasion of Iraq, I was further inspired to use public space to transmit messages. The global political situation — at the time — motivated me to make my own mark.
BÄST, NEW YORK ORIGINAL, IN MEMORIAM
May 6, 2021
Jaime Rojo, Brooklyn Street Art (Original Link)
(Photo: Stencil Archive caught this BÄST tag stencil in Brooklyn, Fall of 2003)
His wit is what we’ll miss the most! BÄST (Stencil Archive LINK) took no statement so seriously that he couldn’t satirize it – including ones that came from your mouth. A sweet-faced wiseguy with sartorial style, his illustrations on the street at once celebrated and skewered popular culture, codes of behavior, and our presumed heroics; His experimental reworkings of images and texts were a charged play on our assumptions and insinuations, an intrinsic, peculiarly bright purveyor of visual communication.
Thoroughly schooled in New York street parlance, BÄST nonetheless toyed with graff culture and its preoccupations. Some OGs of graffiti may have expected a polished vocabulary – a certain Wild Style finesse and layered smooth hand, perhaps. Neu D.I.Y kids were rocking long-handled rollers and beginning to fiddle with uncontrollable extinguishers. BÄST claimed his fame with a full-body gestural fury and indifference – a single color nihilistic splatter tag that nonetheless delivered style and raw energy, well framed by a freight elevator or a doorway.
When BÄST played in concert with duo Faile his compositions set new standards in image-making and manipulation, arguably defining a critical and intelligent street art culture that shook specific New York neighborhoods in the late 90s and early 2000s. Together they mastered new screen-print and stencil techniques on the street in real-time, poking fun at pop and advertising conventions at a scale not seen previously. Here were familiar, sometimes mysterious faces recombined, with messages chopped and collaged and stuttered and glittered, warped and bloated, sprayed and wheat-pasted.
Brooklyn Street Art (BSA) WRITER’S BENCH : “STREET ART AND GRAFFITI: THE ROLE OF COPYRIGHT” BY ENRICO BONADIO
May 4, 2021
PHOTO: Banksy's works are frequently taken off walls, resold, etc. - all with questionable provenance. This original in San Francisco was taken off a wall and its "ownership" is still not clear beyond the fact that the artist will not authenticate the provenance.
Like graffiti writers sharing black books and styles, BSA Writer’s Bench presents today’s greatest thinkers in an OpEd column. Scholars, historians, academics, authors, artists, and cultural workers command this bench. With their opinions and ideas, we expand our collective knowledge and broaden our appreciation of this culture ever-evolving.
by Enrico Bonadio
Stencil Archive disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. Though Bonadio is an attorney based in London, please seek out a local IP attorney if you need actual legal advice. It is all about the client-attorney relationship, so this re-post is a great start. It is not legal advice.
Street Art and Graffiti: The Role of Copyright
Artists are getting robbed. It is time to give them the legal tools they need. With this spirit, a few years ago, I started researching copyright aspects of street art and graffiti.
These artistic movements have been intriguing me for a while. Living for several years in the East London area of Shoreditch, where creativity has exploded and developed after the new millennium’s arrival, has certainly nurtured my curiosity towards these forms of art.
Walking through Brick Lane, Red Church Street, Hackney Wick, and other London neighborhoods full of free-hand graffiti pieces, stenciled images, myriads of stickers and paste-ups, street poetry and sculptures, abandoned miniatures, and many other artworks – opened my eyes and broadened my knowledge of these artistic movements. Visiting, discovering, and experiencing graffiti-friendly areas around the world – including Stokes Croft in Bristol, Kreuzberg in Berlin, Williamsburg and Bushwick in Brooklyn, Hosier Lane and Fitzroy in Melbourne, Florentin and Nachalat Binyamin in Tel Aviv, La Candelaria and Puente Aranda in Bogota’ – filled me with even more curiosity and willingness to study further and understand these creative subcultures.
While studying and admiring the beautiful art that cityscapes can offer us for free, I could not help thinking about whether and to what extent the branch of law I’ve been researching (and practicing) for many years – i.e., copyright law – may regulate such forms of creativity. So I started wondering about whether the artworks I was admiring could and should be protected by copyright in the very same way works of fine art are, even where the pieces are created illegally, namely, without the consent of the owner of the tangible support upon which the piece is placed, for instance, a wall.