Graffiti, Street Art, Urban Art: Terminological Problems and Generic Properties
Radosevic, L. (2013). Graffiti, Street Art, Urban Art: Terminological Problems and Generic Properties. In L. Koos (Ed.), New Cultural Capitals: Urban Pop Cultures in Focus (pp. 3-14). Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.
© Inter-Disciplinary Press. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Inter-Diciplinary Press.
In the last ten years, street art has become a very important factor in the international art scene. It has become a precious object to buy and preserve, and yet there is considerable confusion about the generic properties and definition of street art in academic research. As a rightful part of popular culture and urban culture, street art is not pure and independent. It intertwines with different art forms and urban subcultures and nurtures spin-off production. Therefore it is quite hard to trace its borders. Street art is not graffiti. They are different visual expressions and even though they might share the same space, artists and techniques, they still produce visually and conceptually different art works. This confusion produces many layers of problematic issues which put the street artists both on the police wanted lists and in the most important galleries and museums such as the Tate Modern in London, Grand Palais in Paris and MOCA in Los Angeles to name the few. In addition, in some official documents and in auction houses graffiti and street art are referred to as urban art, a term not used or understood by the members of the subculture. It is not clear what graffiti, street art and urban art are and how they are positioned within the contemporary culture. Therefore it is necessary to deal with the generic terms first and only after this issue has been solved, one can look at all these terms from different perspectives. is paper aims at resolving these problems without offering new definitions but by explaining the terms used both in subcultures and in academic research. ...