<body> Public Ad Campaign: Street Art and Graffiti as Public Dialogue
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Street Art and Graffiti as Public Dialogue

We have long advocated that street art and Graffiti are a particularly potent force for public dialogue about issues facing our urban spaces. A recent post on Arrested Motion on the interaction between Pixadores and commercial street artists in Sao Paolo helps prove the point. According to the post, some Paolistas are angry that the city is funding beautification projects while the cities poor are overlooked. Taking this issue to the streets they defaced a city funded mural project with the following sentence. “R$ 200,000 in makeup, and the city is in calamity.” In doing so they have created an important dialogue about who the city looks after in a very visible way. Sadly their commentary was removed immediately as it was clearly not to the cities liking. I do hate to see such beautiful work buffed like this but I am happy to see that conversations through public works continue to push important social issues.

VIA Arrested Motion

Proving that tensions between graffiti artists and street artists are not just a phenomena of the western world (see banksy vs. robbo),Pixacao artists in Sao Paulo have defaced a mural by Os Gemeos, NUNCA, NINA, Finok, and Zefix. They are probably angry that the mayor of Sao Paulo, after creating the project “Clean City” in 2006 (which erased much of the illegal graffiti) is using public funds for commissioning legal writers and famous street artists. This all at a time when the government is perceived by them as doing nothing to help the poor communities that were flooded after 30 days of non-stop rain, yet the mural was all cleaned in the same night, by a huge team of City Hall by using sponges and hydraulic cranes. [More Here]

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