How The Graffiti On The Wall Can Beautify Our Streets
It is not only the formal structures that play an important role in how our streets look; informal expressions have long been a part of it, too. Among them is street art. While many try to trace its origins back to aboriginal rock art or cave paintings in ancient cultures, street art probably has been around for even longer. And for long has it played an important role in shaping public spaces, along with buildings and architectural marvels. In the past decade or two, street art has become more mainstream.
Experts have long been predicting that the mainstream acceptance will lead to incorporation of street art into urban designs. This may even change school curriculum to some extent. This is already happening. In December, authorities decided that street art in Delhi should be guided by the national capital's Master Plan.
Two years ago, public service broadcaster BBC ran an interview with an anonymous artist influenced by renowned street art genius Bansky, when graffiti started appearing on public walls in Kochi, Kerala. No one knew the painter, going by the name GuessWho, whose work left many amazed and some offended. However, unlike the work of the anonymous artist in Kochi, street art is not always unauthorised. In many cases, it has the consent of the person who owns the property. Throughout the world, there are many instances in which people who live in a certain neighborhood have called the police thinking that an art work was done without the permission of the owner of the property, only to find that it was legitimate. But, of course, this happens the other way around, too. In some cases, words stenciled on roads are done against the law; in many other cases, they are part of an advertising campaign or done by the government itself.
One of the predictions of art experts was that when street art becomes more popular, law and urban planners' attitude towards this form of art will change. In the British version of the TV show, The Apprentice, it was once said that street art was the next big thing. This is hard to ignore, because when the anonymous Bansky admirer's art was featured in newspapers and websites, it soon went viral. This is how market forces and technology change how people look at an art form.