Monday, January 30, 2012

AHA! Street Art Making Bold Statements
I have to admit, I’ve really gotten obsessed with street art lately. From a visual literacy standpoint, I think street art displays a wide array of communication styles, from textual to completely image based. Sometimes this art is just depicted in gorgeous, colorful, larger-than-life images projected onto sidewalks, the sides of buildings, or other city structures. Other times street art can be ordinary everyday objects manipulated and touched up to represent something new. And then there are instances where a simple word sketched in a certain font, at a specific place in full view, that can make the most striking statements.

The way we see things affects our thoughts and emotions, really anything. For a bit of “fun” reading right now, I’ve been reading Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined, a book about physical appearance and the way in which it affects our perception of others. To me, this really related to the perception that we experience in looking at messages, images and objects in our daily lives, because the way something looks is usually the first information we use to 
construct meaning about said subject.


With street art, we’re given these images that have been created to make a bold statement for the public. What the statement is varies; it’s always about getting the image out there for all to see, so that the message can be interpreted by us, the perceiver. The process for this creation mirrors the process described in our Visual Literacy textbook. Artists, like Banksy for example, are the source of the message. They develop what message (thought, concept, ideology) they want to communicate, they visualize and translate this message and apply the design process of turning the thought into a graphic form. Then Banksy works with his his main medium and location, whatever these may be (he's a versatile guy) and actually creates the street art graphic. Audiences of those who pass by, who seek out this art, or are looking at it through secondary mediums (Internet) receive the messages of the graphic, and interpret it for themselves. With street art, it's all about interpretation. People put things in public places for others to SEE. And everything we perceive, everything our eyes meet, we interpret.

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