Street art has spawned a sub/culture and has been a topic of debate especially with regards to its place in the oftentimes snooty art world. A reflection of resistance to norms and the establishment, it is associated with protest movements. As such, authorities have regarded it as a public nuisance, a disturbance in the status quo, and have reduced it to vandalism, a destruction of public property, an aberation from the normal urban landscape. Nonetheless, it continues to thrive. It will remain a part of the city life for as long as there is a need for its critical nature.
In my trips to many cities, I've encountered many street and graffiti art that have caught my eye.
In Warsaw, for instance, protest takes the form of graffiti art. As resistance is embedded in the gene of street art, large art works are made in large buildings criticizing government policies such as increased militarization.
Another street art in Warsaw, made in the entry gate of a grocery, features animals and bananas, that provides an attraction for buyers and passersby.
Georgetown, in Penang, is known as a haven for gastronomy, local culture and art. It is not unusual to find street art on the plaster walls of the old city.
Street art also celebrates the achievement of Georgetown's native citizens. For instance, a street art marks the spot where international shoe designer Jimmy Choo had his humble beginnings.
In downtown Brisbane, I stumbled upon this street art that interprets Frida Kahlo as an icon in a game card.
In a mall in Manila, this art work though technically not a street art, is featured on the wall of a famous stationery store.
In Tokyo's Shinjuku District, Hello Kitty is deconstructed to illustrate various moods and expressions, perhaps a criticism to the cosmeticism that the popular cultural icon provides, hiding the many problems of Japan via its cute and lovable imagery.
Another Shinjuku work is self-reflexive announcing itself for what it is - street art.
In Jakarta, the all-seeing eye is rendered in a style that is iconic to the street art scene painted by skaters armed with a bottle of spray paint.