We can only discuss so much in two hours. For those interested in going deeper, the following documentaries, audio clips, articles and blogs are a goldmine of information. CAUTION: Highly addictive subculture. Read on at your own risk.
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Street Art Globally:
It all started in Philly and New York in the early 70s, and it blew up fast. By the mid-seventies graffiti was already capturing the public's attention worldwide. This is the 1974 article by Norman Mailer for Esquire magazine where he implies that graffiti is the most important art of the 1970s.
This 1983 documentary pulled back the curtain and let the world peek into graffiti subculture for the first time. It has been responsible for inspiring new generations of painters ever since its release. Writers from Berlin to Tokyo will cite it unfailingly as a seminal influence, and it has undoubtedly helped to make urban art a global culture.
This is a compelling audio piece featuring contemporary interviews with some of the original graffiti writers from back in the day in the New York train yards. It attempts to describes what graffiti was, and what it has become.
(Just the preview) This documentary by the notorious street artist Banksy explores the post-grafitti street art movement starting in the early 2000s. The movie was nominated for an Oscar and did much to bring Street Art even further into the public eye.
This influential photo blog is undeniably responsible for much of the surging popularity for street art in the early days. Around 2000, digitial cameras were still new. The founders of this blog were some of the first to take to the streets of lower Manhattan to start documenting this new thing called street art and to post the photos online. Keep in mind that this was right during the genesis of blogs and social media. Street art meshed perfectly with this new format, offering punchy site specific work that was daring and mysterious. Now social media is full of urban art blogs, and this site isn't as active as it used to be, but it's still one of the first and best.
Street Art in Barcelona:
This innovative program lets artists reserve space on several free walls around the city where they can paint and practice in piece. Besides a map of the free walls around the city, this website lets you search by artist and see photos that the artists themselves post of the work they are doing around town. This seems to be an interesting and positive evolution for street art in Barcelona.
This is a recent documentary about street art in Barcelona that "explores the history, motivation, politics and the numerous characters involved in the street art scene”. Essential watching for a deeper understanding of BCN street art.
(Just the preview) This documentary takes a more polemic view of the street art scene in Barcelona, and asks tough questions about consumerism, tourism and gentrification in the city.
This Barcelona-based blog is one of the best places to find out what's happening now in the urban art scene. Several collaborating photographers and tireless editors work hard to document the work in public spaces in real time.
These two blogs are also great places to see photos and read a little bit about the art and artists active in the streets of Barcelona.