Rants From the Right Side - Guest- Miss Y on Street Art
When you work in advertising you’re always on the lookout for what’s cool, for rising subcultures and trends, etc... anything that you feel will help in breaking out of classic advertising (like TV, radio and print). Anything that will reach target audiences faster and with more impact than what they’ve grown used to (and bored of).
Inspiration comes from the street. Not surprisingly... this has become commonplace: you see classic dance mixed up with some hip hop moves picked up from the ‘streets’ and bang! it’s born again as contemporary dance... you see fashion on the runway inspired by fashion from the subway. Seems like the advertising industry has seen street artists gaining popularity and is attracted to the fact that this activist art form is on the street, it’s surprising, it’s in your face and can stop you in your tracks. So bang! guerrilla advertising is gaining even more popularity... advertising has moved into the street artists’ territory. Which is not something that is going to be accepted very easily I think... Advertising is like the antithesis of street art. Most of this art is actually ad busting, culture jamming, anti-brands, trying to take the street back from corporations and their advertisers...
So we’re in the middle of this now, what will the street artists do (given that their art is based fundamentally on reacting and causing reaction)? What’s happened so far is that some have actually been hired on a freelance basis by advertising agencies or corporations to bring brands back into cool, back into the streets. Others, fuelled by the ‘invasion’ have stuck to their message as artists and even stepped up their activism.
As with any other channel of communication, I’m sure guerilla advertising will be used and abused. The only difference here (as opposed to television and other media) is that nobody can really own the streets so it’ll be interesting to watch the reaction to this tug-of-war.
Check out Wooster Collective for street art from around the world.