What makes street art installations so exciting and so different from the art we see in galleries and museums? First of all, no matter how hard you try, you cannot avoid street art pieces as they are a part of our everyday life, a part of the permanent exhibition at the gallery called the street. Conventional galleries are based on a different concept, a magical reality with its own boundaries and rules completely different from the outside, or as we call it, the real life. On the other hand, the immediate nature of street art and the reality of street art taught us to see things just the way they are. This atmosphere created a loophole in the comprehension of reality, allowing street artists to implement the idea of a magical gallery space into the everyday scenography called the street. This reality bending practice is the most efficiently achieved with street art and urban art installations. Beginning with Christo and Jeanne Claude, alongside Robert Smithson, we are witnessing the constant examinations of just where the border between reality and art exactly lies, and it seems, as the time passes by, that the very same border is getting thinner and thinner. Today, we have prepared for you 10 gripping street art installations that succeeded in their original intention of displacing a common passerby from his/her everyday routine and their comfort zone.
In 2006, in the year when some big changes started to come up to the surface, such as Facebook going out of the college campus and MySpace reaching its peak, Banksy exhibited his street art installation The Telephone Booth in Soho, London. The famous Telephone Booth was struck with a pickaxe, left to bleed in front of the passersby. It marked a beginning of communication decline, an omen of today’s paradox – through social networks people have never been connected to this extent, yet so far away from each other. Just like once was said that video killed the radio star, now social networks killed humanly interaction. Sounds far less poetic, but immensely sadder. A variation of this Telephone Booth was sold last year in Phillips auction for a crazy sum of $1.1 million to a private collector.
Above is an international street artist who has chosen to keep his identity concealed. Above’s artworks, regardless of the medium, usually have a strong message or awareness about social, political or international current events. The Naked Truth, installed in Copenhagen in 2009, tells a story about credulity hidden as a voyeuristic trap. If you accept the game, the reward is satisfying, because Above’s street art projects teach us to believe nothing that we hear, and only one half of what we see.
Images are courtesy of mymodernmet.
Inflatable art as a street art installation? When you are walking down the street and then, all of a sudden, you see a bunch of overgrown green tentacles sticking out of the windows of a building and fluttering around in the air, you will definitely remember the first sentence. Filthy Luker and his doppelganger Pedro Estrellas have been creating bizarre inflatable art since the early 90’s. The puffed-up duo are driven by their love of mischievous public intervention and a megalomaniacal desire to create objects of gargantuan proportions. With seemingly endless possibilities for form and function within the inflatable medium, the creative duo has always been keen to experiment and break new ground, which is a good thing since for many years they didn’t know what they were doing.
Courtesy of filthyluker.
Mark Jenkins and his street art creations made out of tape can't stop making a commotion in public, drawing people's attention wherever he places them. Sometimes it may seem that he really is pushing his limits, especially with a sculpture of a girl on the edge of a building, or the one with a drowned man in the middle of a pond. He is trying to send a message that suicidal people, with multilayered problems, need help from the society. By exposing us to what might possibly be a real thing, we start to think in the direction of changing the mechanisms of help for those in need.
Image is a courtesy of Mark Jenkins.
Kello Goeller is a shape Shaman whose works contemplate on the secret place where nature meets geometry. In the case of Pixel Puor 2.0, she extended her field of interest to examine the pure geometrical shapes juxtaposed to functional geometry deployed into the urban environment. It also gives us a feeling of being in a video game, and what is life if not one big video game with extremely detailed graphics? Kello Goeller is asking where the boundary between the real and the virtual world is.
Image courtesy of plentyofcolour.
It became clear to Fra.Biancoshock that there is no existing category that can fit his urban inclination, typical of the street art, and his expressive process which is very close to the classic conceptual and performative art; this is the reason why he decided to give birth to Ephemeralism, a form of street art installation. Ephemeralism has the purpose of producing works of art that have to exist briefly in space but limitlessly in time through photography, video and the media. Fra.Biancoshock uses his artwork frequently to address issues such as class, poverty, urban life, commercialism and modernity. In this particular piece, he is emphasizing the burden of modern life, of a modern man being suffocated in the urban jungle.
Image is a courtesy of webburgr.
Mentalgassi is a trio of Berlin street artists. In 2007, the they created their first three-dimensional street art installation. With a digital camera, Photoshop software and a large commercial printer, Mentalgassi produced vast black-and-white portraits (usually of family or friends) which they then glued with wallpaper paste onto some of Berlin’s recycling bins. As they have explained, they didn't have any particular idea about why they should do it, it only felt right.
Image is a courtesy of whatsupdocmag.fr
Isaac Cordal is another artist on our list who uses miniature street art installations to convey his message to the audience. But his themes differ a bit because he is placing an emphasis on problems on a global level, such as climate changes, failures of economy and consequences of blindly following the ideals. This street art installation is one of his the most successful ones, and it represents the gathering of the politicians in power discussing the problems of global warming. It seems that while they are doing so, the problem is getting more serious and the catastrophe more and more inevitable. It is time to act!
Image is a courtesy of softpyramids.
We started this list with a street art installation by Banksy, and it looks like we are also going to conclude it with another from the same artist. This one was not installed in the street but in Disneyland. Banksy’s work has always come with political bite, but he took a real chomp out of international politics with a stunt he pulled at Disneyland back in September 2006. The artist snuck in an inflatable doll dressed like a Guantanamo Bay detainment camp prisoner (complete with an orange jumpsuit, black hood, and handcuffs), and then managed to blow up the thing and place it within the confines of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride. The piece stayed up for over an hour until the ride had to be shut down to remove it. Most people can’t even sneak outside drinks into Disneyland.
Image courtesy of complex.