Monday, January 30, 2012

Street Art

On our very first day in San Jose last November, we noticed a small group of street artists painting a mural of the face of Bob Marley on the corner not far from where we live. Since that day, we have both loved discovering the murals and creative graffiti all over the city.

I’ve wondered if permission must be obtained.  Is it legal or illegal….no one seems to know for sure?

Perhaps I haven’t yet met the right people to ask?? At any rate, the artwork does exist everywhere.

The styles, the themes, the colors are widely varied.

One might even speculate about how many pieces of street art could be self-portraits in addition to political and social statements.
I have read that one of the most rewarding factors of street art is the surface. Some may say the cold metal of train cars cannot be beat for a good surface. But then there is also shabby siding, dilapidated brick, heavily textured stucco and of course….concrete.

 The essence of street art is often anonymous to the casual passerby, unless you take the time to decipher it – when possible – and study it. How long did a piece take? How many artists worked on it? And when you see a pile of spray paint cans tossed to the side – next to a scribble which may or may not be the artist’s signature – why? Who paid for the cans?  In most cases, no money was to be made from this.
In researching the street artists work, my favorite quote I found was ….”Whatever their reasons – they’re just doing their job, after all.


  1. How great the artwork looks.... a documentary in itself... thanks for sharing.