Big launch of a series of articles answering the most common questions we’ve had about street art.
For this first article we answer the question:
How do we find the identity of a street artist when we come across an artwork in the streets?
The question is legitimate: usually in museums, there is a plate under or next to the painting that gives us the title, the name of the artist, the technique and often explanations about the artwork.
With street art in its natural environment of the streets, there is none of that! It is not obvious at first glance who is behind the artwork, or what it is supposed to convey.
That’s exactly what I find exciting. It’s an art that is hyper accessible and at the same time mysterious, and it leads to little urban treasure hunts!
Very often the author’s signature is the work in itself! The tags are nicknames, signatures; the same thing for graffiti lettering, which is more elaborate.
The small symbols or collages we find on street corners are pictorial versions of signatures. These street artists that I like to call “invaders” invade cities by putting their marks on them: small works declined in several techniques, colors or characters but essentially always the same or at least very recognizable. These are the signatures of these artists.
And then for the more pictorial works, the large murals, we often find the artist’s touch in each of their new artworks. It’s like any other art form, you find yourself in front of a Dalí, chances are you can identify him, can’t you? And the more you look at walls covered with small (or large!) pieces of art on them, the more you recognise the artists who created them. I can guarantee you that when you get caught up in the game of street art, for each new discovery you feel a real excitement, like the child you were when you discovered the treasure of the hunt 😉
And then, there’s often a little signature hidden at a corner of the work left by the street artist, more and more often an Instagram account itself! The difficulty concerns mostly anonymous artists who leave their works everywhere but not their names. They sometimes don’t even have a site or a profile on social networks.
ROA, an international street artist, extremely well-known and recognised in the street art scene, who often paints large murals, without signing his artworks!
In this case, it leads to a lot of ridiculous Google searches! For example, for Niyaz Nadjafov, I searched unsuccessfully for several months for a small signature on each of his artworks I met in Paris. I went through Instagram without success either, and ended up searching on Google for “street art bouquets of flowers painting” or something like that! I found him though 😉
Moreover, as for other art forms, there are dedicated magazines (Graffiti Art magazine, Stuart magazine,…) and galleries specialized in street art too which regularly organize exhibitions (we talk about 5 street art galleries in the 13th in this article).
But above all there is Instagram ! Professional and amateur photographers, bloggers (like us !), and specialists, who publish on their Instagram accounts their photos by tagging artists, like we do ! In this way, it is possible to share the work of these artists and get some kind of artistic recognition. It is important to identify them when you publish a photo of a work on the internet, as you would do for any other artist.
And this is how we discover many artists 😊 I hope this article answers one of your (many) questions about street art.
If you have any other questions that are bothering you, feel free to send them to us by commenting under this article, or on social media!
© all pictures are by Invisible Walls
And here are some Instagram account references that are good resources for us:
- Le Lavomatik gallery instagram, on their wall and in the thread of pictures they are identified in
- Insta of an other street art blog Kiffe Ta Culture
- Photographer’s insta of Valencia en Grafitis
- Street Art Jo 53 blog insta (in Spanish)
- And our insta @invisiblewalls.eu!