The Pope running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Artist unknown
Who Writes this Stuff?
Hi, I am Lori Ann. I love exploring the world and discovering cool ways to connect with the human race. My latest adventure has been in my home state of Arizona. If you are ever in the Phoenix Area come and have some fun with us or follow my blog!
My first thoughtful run-in with street art actually occurred on Montmartre in Paris- you know the place where Picasso, Monet and others made their debut? Funny thing is, the picture I took was not of their painting perches but of a little piece of street art. It was a stenciled phrase, "ART IS A BASIC NEED".
On Montmartre in Paris
At the time I had never heard the word "street art" used before... graffiti and vandalism yes, but not street art. Since then I've been schooled on the subject and have become somewhat of an infatuated connoisseur. Judging by the explosion of street art in the Phoenix area and specifically commissioned murals...I see that I am not alone! You may have your own reasons for loving it...but for what's worth, here's mine!
#1 It's Bold This is coming from a person that used to be afraid to crunch a carrot in public. The fact that an artist is willing to fling ideas publicly in paint without regard to critics and naysayers just does something for me. If you need a ittle inspiration to express yourself...maybe these muralists are just the inspiriation you need!
Fence piece by #ashleymacias. Coronado Historic District, Phoenix, AZ
#2 It's Smart (sometimes) One thing I have always loved in all art forms is the use of symbolism. It presents an image, a sound or an object in a way that allows the onlookers to derive meaning at a level deeper than a wordy explanation. Street art has definitly won me over in this area!
Piensa con el Corazon (Translation: Think with your Heart) Mural in Zaragoza, Spain by artist #Boamistura
#3 It Takes Skill So far as I know there is no formal education for becoming a street artist. Despite the fact that it is sometimes done illegally...the sheer skill required to create a large piece, using cans of spray paint often in the middle of night and have it sitting pretty by morning is an amazing feat to even the most law-abiding citizen (of which I am also a fan ! )
Phoenix, Arizona USA, Artist: Unknown
"Medusa" by El Mac and David Choe #mac_arte in Phoenix, Arizona, USA
#3 It Tells the Local Story On a recent trip through Spain, we didn't have the luxury of a Street Art Tour during our stay in Zaragoza. But a basic knowledge of the region's history did the trick when it came to deciphering this piece. Zaragoza was the first city in the Old World to start processing chocolate. What does this mural say to you? I'd love to hear what you have to say!
Artist Unknown: Location: Zaragoza, Spain 2017
On our last visit to Spain we discovered the amazing city of Zaragoza. To our surprize it was packed with amazing street art (They forgot to mention this in the guidebooks!) and some of the most amazing architecture in Europe...Guess where we are going in 2018?
Honoring the late Frank Henry, an influential architect in Phoenix Area and the first person to graduate from ASU's Architectural College. Piece was done by #karladdison You can find this at #kitchensinkstudios in Phoenix, AZ.
Street Artist #lalocota was actually commissioned to do the #PAZCantina Food Truck in Phoenix, AZ. He is known for his abundant use of motifs relative to local Chicano culture. Note: This is also an example of how the culture of street art is evolving into a for profit profession.
Recent piece by #hugosart and #darrinarmijowardle in remembrance of "Malinda", a beloved woman in downtown Phoenix in the early 1900's.
Phoenix is quickly becoming a Mecca for Street Art Lover's. Check out the maps prepared as a labor of love by a few of the Street Art Lover's here in town!
#4 It Addresses Global Issues Street Art is often politically charged. If you want to get a feel for some of the controversial issues being kicked around in the streets...go into the grittier parts of town and see what messages are being splashed around. Street artists love the fact that their messages get seen by every passerby. Motivated to save endangered species, artist Louis Masai went on a painting spree! As a part of 2016 "The Art of Being Project" he left this gift for us in Phoenix. It is one of 20 murals done in 12 cities in 2 months.
Part of "The Art of Beeing" Project by #louismasai.
Wheat paste poster in Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Stencil graffito in Porto, Portugal.
#5 It Makes Ugly Walls Pretty While this is stating the obvious...it's worth mentioning!
Alley wall in Mesa, Arizona created by Dimski
Do you like street art? I'd love to hear why or why not?
Inspired by Mother Teresa and the fabulous "I Have a Name" mural by Brian Boner and cohorts in Phoenix, Arizona my heart was bursting to somehow connect with the homeless population in downtown Phoenix. I forged what I thought was a fabulous last minute plan for a Street Art + Feeding the Homeless venture with family and friends. Fortunately...yes I do mean fortunately, I had no takers and decided to make my way to the RoRo Arts District by myself...no food in hand, just myself. The end result was more meaningful than I had imagined.
I arrived around 9:00am. Still unsure of exactly what I was going to do, I figured that getting out of my truck was a good start, so that's what I did. The streets were quiet and clean. It was as if I had the entire city to myself...
but not for long. Around 9:30am I noticed someone making themselves comfortable just outside PSA Art Awakenings. He had a bike, a briefcase, and a yellow blanket. He looked approachable...so I approached.
"Hi, do you live around here?" I blurted out. "Yeah...not too far from here." He responded, paused and then added, "M'am, I'm homeless". An enlightening 30 minute encouter ensued. "I used to have a job," he told me, " but they let me go, so now I have time to do my artwork." He opened his briefcase chock full of colorful sketches of animals and classic cars. "I do this for the children. I love children. They get it.", he said repeatedly and then pulled out an obviously cherished picture a little girl had drawn for him.
Returning to his briefcase he pulled out his collection of artwork. "Do you want a picture? I'll give you one. Which one do you want?", he asked. "Isn't this your work?", I asked, "Isn't this how you make your money? I will pay you for one." I insisted. "No, I do this from my heart. I don't want you to pay me." he said, "Tell you what, you can buy one and then I'll give you another one, then we'll both be happy." And so it was.
By the time we were done I had two sketches of green Hudsons, a Roger Penske Corvette, the sketch in the photo above and a new friend. His name is Ken. You can see his proud signature on each one of his art pieces. During our time together he shared with me his plight and personal perspective of the homeless dilemma. While the solution to homelessness is complex and varied, on that day how to begin became perfectly clear. Mural artist Brian Bonner, Mother Teresa, and a little girl had it right. Recognizing each individual as a person with a name, a face, and a life worthy of dignity is something we can all do with or without a peanut butter sandwich. I look forward to starting this New Year getting to know the names, the faces and the stories of ALL those with whom we share spaces.
Hi, I'm Lori Ann. After being in love with Arizona for more than three decades my heart has been drawn to connect with the people, places and all those with whom we share this fabulous space we call home!