The rise of street art is gaining greater speed than ever. We remember a time when driving through areas with graffiti, were “ghetto” or the “projects”. About a year ago, we dived right into the Bansky documentary, “Exit through the Gift Shop” with no real interest or high expectations of it being a good movie. It was one of the most captivating documentaries we have seen. Everything that goes into these guys process is crazy; creating the art, discovering the perfect canvas, and finding a crew to help install it. All while avoiding getting caught in the depths of the night.
We came across a magazine at a friend’s house, ‘Juxtapoz’. It’s a well-known street art magazine that travels the world interviewing the artists. Normally, we Betties, stay clear of such magazines unless it’s strictly to view the pictures, but soon… it was too late, 4 issues read and wanting more.
The most interesting artist we came across is Ron English a propaganda artist, he’s coined his own term “popaganda”. If you don’t know him, research him. He’s an amazing artist with that shock factor like no other. You may have seen this recent photo he drew of Obama.
“And it crystalized for me why I wanted to put art on the streets. Of course, we all have to make money, but thank God for those fleeting moments of shared consciousness where it’s not about giving people what they want; it’s about giving people what you want them to see”, says English.
How true. Any form of art is a way to express yourself and show people the things YOU want THEM to SEE or BELIEVE or have an OPINION of. Positive or negative; it’s still awakening their mind to new topics. YOUR topics. Many people won’t want to or can’t handle the artwork that he does. They may find it offensive but it’s his creative outlet to show you how he thinks on certain topics. Street art has enabled him to do so.
“Personally, I would love the opportunity to piss people off from the grave”. Ron English wakes up every day with a smile on his face and creates art that he’s passionate about. Bad press is better than no press.
We could all take a lesson from Ron. Everything you do in life, make sure the picture you’re putting out, is the one you want people to see. Don’t hide under a personality that isn’t you because you want people to perceive you differently. Art is all around us; music, writing, dancing, painting, etc. Make sure you give it your all passionately and stay true to you. It’s the only way to get your message out there.
Ron compares this era of art to the 60’s, “it’s not dissimilar to the rise of Rock & Roll in the 60’s. Swoon is our Janis Joplin. Banksy is John Lennon. Saber is Hendrix. Wynwood Walls and Primary Flight are Woodstock.”
Below are some photos both sketched and street art. Regardless if you find any of it offensive, try to find the message.
The Ultimate Betties