Street Art - General Essay

Submitted By nr06029
Words: 305
Pages: 2

Street Art as we commonly understand it today has its origins in the hip-hop culture of New York in the late 70s. As it spread around the world it resonated with others in urban areas, it adapted and mutated but also retained much of its original ideology and sentiment. For example, much of Hip Hop in its various forms has its origins in ritualised competition – the dancing, the rapping and the scratching – and the art was no exception. As well as marking their own territory on fixed points like walls, early Graffiti Artists put their mark or tag on subway trains as a way to send their art around the city, showing off to literally millions of people and extending their territorial mark far beyond what would be physically possible even with unlimited resources and the full blessing of the law. This was before the internet.
Additionally, Hip Hop also involved a strong element of DIY ethics, in fact more than that, it has a tradition of borrowing or stealing or absorbing, depending on your view point – you use what’s in front of you, you improvise. It is a truly Urban culture. It is about, and from the city and more specifically from the poorest and most unattractive areas in the city. It’s about a love of, and a need to change, the urban environment.
If ever there was a city where the structures, physical and social, need challenged, its Belfast and funny enough street art has been part of the make up of Belfast from before hip hop was even invented. No surprise then that…