Hello to all of you fans of great Street Art! Today I have something for you, which I consider the best kind of visual imagery you can encounter in your urban environment. Over the years I have posted plenty of murals, from the small to the ginormous, from the ones resembling kindergarten drawings to the high definition photorealistic ones. (Take a look at my Walls of Berlin and my Mexican Murals collections!) But today I am pleased to say that I'll be taking you back to the roots, so to speak, of what I at least believe Street Art should be about. And as always, I am using this post as my entry to CCC's Street Art Contest #153.
Between Commissioned Work and Vandalism
Clearly, the most striking images that you simply can't walk by without looking, are the massive murals on what would otherwise be large empty walls. And as much as I am a fan of them, and like to share them here, I think they really stretch the definition of Street Art. I mean, just to create these overdimensional paintings, you need a crane or other such equipment. Also, the artist will most likely need at least a permission, if not being hired to create those murals. And yes, I do believe these jobs should be more plentiful, so more empty walls may be decorated with cool visuals. Still the formality involved takes a bit away from...
... the other extreme: Just before sunrise when nobody is out and about, hooded characters bust out their spray cans and cover any surface with their tags that nobody can even decipher. Honestly, to me this practice is hardly above a dog pissing on corners to mark their territory. But it has one thing going for it, namely that their ugly images are bestowed upon us literally overnight, completely unannounced. Too bad that they are visually so unappealing. But they don't have to be necessarily so.
Stencils, Tiles, and Stickers
Take this imagery of Super Mario on a pedestrian bridge by the S-Bahn stop Pankow Heinersdorf, not far from where I live. The best place to see it is actually from the train platform itself. It includes well known characters from the classic jump-and-run game, including the pipe our protagonist emerged from, that owl monster thing, and gold coins to collect. On the side of the bridge it really looks like he is running through one of those tunnels in the game.
My favorite aspect of it are the pixels. As if the entire piece was created out of individual tiles, pasted in such an arrangement that makes the whole image look like an early video game. But this could as well have been made by simply using stickers, which greatly reduces the time to put up the piece of art. The stencil technique could potentially make it even faster, but given the multiple colors used, I don't think this was the case here.
Anyhow, now I will keep my eyes peeled for more similar Mario images in my surroundings. Judging from the mask he is wearing, I'd assume the image has been up for 2-3 years (and still doing well). So this would suggest that there are more of them around. If I find any, I am certain to share it here.