The real role of urban art: To tear us away from our unconscious routines and blindness caused by the concrete jungle

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So many cities across the globe have become absolute concrete jungles. This fuels behaviors and attitudes of the citizens that live in these cities. A coldness and routine is encouraged. For this reason I am a big fan of urban art in all forms.

Graffiti is the champion of this “art form” turning gray facades into bright stories. They add a personality and character to the areas that are prey to these artists. Graffiti has also evolved to a place that it is encouraged and financially supported by companies. As such, the craft has also evolved with the infusion of money that can turn a lifestyle into a job. Granted, there is friction within the community about the benefits of this new reality. However, what cannot be argued is that the storytelling power and disruptive nature of this art form is more widespread. Consequently, graffiti plays an increasingly important role in breaking the monotony of concrete jungle living.

A type of urban art that has a strong ability to cut right into the conforms of a concrete jungle existence is where the artist transforms an element of the cityscape by altering an existing fixture or feature. Banksy did this really well, seeking out cracks and the like onto which he’d spray his art resulting in the creation of mini stories.

A Montreal artist called Roadsworth is a master of this style of urban art. However, he uses traffic marks has his canvas, turning them into different meanings by simply adding a dash of paint here and there. The beauty of his work is that it is truly disruptive yet uplifting because he plays with elements of urban living that we interact with everyday multiple times and do so on automatic pilot. As such, his work awakens us a bit. Have a look and let me know what you think.

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