that’s my sticker. glad you appreciated it. I am also responsible for several other political stickers that are conspicuously absent from the various “street art” sites. seems to me that much of what is being touted as street art plays into the existing codes of gallery elitism: visually “pleasing” design, cheap “cleverness,” and usually a desperate attempt NOT to have a clear message that anyone can understand. most of this work is simply too comfortable and “nice” to be meaningful (in my opinion). in addition, a lot of it seems to exist more on the internet or on guided tours than it does in reality, on the street, in your face, for the public.
ultimately, it appears that many of these “street artists” are using the streets as a self-promotion platform towards networking, gallery shows and mainstream success and acceptance. nearly all of the thousands of graffiti writers who have come and gone never asked for more than to say “I exist. I was here. this is my name. this is my style.” street artists should neither bastardize nor belittle this tradition.
I fully recognize and support that there are no rules on the street: everybody should be doing whatever they want to do, that’s the whole point. but that does not mean I cannot critique what is being done and how it is being promoted. I love graffiti and any sort of public expression on the streets. cumulatively, it is a beautiful and important thing. I just hope that all of the creators, promoters and fans start to ask a little more of themselves and each other.
by the way, I am in no way affiliated with streetartblows.com
The only reason I compared this project to streetartblows.com is because they’re both interventions into what’s going on in the streets. In their own way, they’re both calling bullshit and asking for some dialogue. The big difference, of course, is that the Corporate Vandals Not Welcome stickers are targetted at advertising companies who are hired by giant corporations with no redeeming social value at all, whereas the s.a.b. stickers are aimed at individual artists and their work, for which he’s been criticized.
I think there’s a lot to criticize about the state of the scene and the shallowness of a lot of work going up, but having “Keep Your Art To Yourself” as a tagline is basically the opposite of what VR believes. The whole point of our zine is that anyone can make art — art should be accesible, free, and everywhere. But in taking over public space, street artists should be aware of their surroundings and should be willing to put some thought and effort into respecting their city, their neighbors, and their own artwork. More dialogue towards this end is sorely needed.