Recently I was working in Houston on the mural conservation of an important, even iconic, historical mural by one of – if not by THE most important African American mural artists in US history, Dr. John Biggers. But while in Houston, we took the time to scout around and found in the same area where we were working, the 3rd Ward, something “worth writing home about.” I want to post about an art district of murals with some very nice images though nothing really blew me away like I saw in Porto, Portugal (see link below) or that I’m used to seeing in Los Angeles
The art in this video comes and goes. One girl lamented that they come by often to take pictures and see the evolution of the art because most of the artwork gets covered over, though a few images had been up for years.
It seems that there is a trend for street artists to put their work up, then focus on the challenge of getting their image to go viral. A lot of times, the fact that the artwork is someplace illegal adds to the vibe and appeals to this underground movement. Banksy’s outlaw status makes him a legend and had developed into a hero status.
In theory, its kind of like the illustrators from 100 years ago who created the artwork, got it published and threw the artwork away. Only Norman Rockwell really broke big time into the legitimate art market. Otherwise, illustrations were never considered real art. Today’s street artists, get the artwork up on the wall, then don’t care about its long term visibility cause they have a virtual world-wide presence and visibility that can help them sell prints, paintings, coffee cups or whatever.
Still though, the girls I talked to said they cry when they see the really good artwork get tagged and covered up to be lost forever.
I love the type of emotional involvement, intellectual stimulation that I experience when I am in front of contemporary street art and my connection with contemporary artists of murals in public places I enjoy very much. Part of that intellectual stimulation is seeing or understanding the difference between fast food art, vandalism and true masterpieces in public places.
But, how do you protect street art – public murals from vandals/graffiti? Applying a substantial sacrificial resin coating is one way. Here’s a quick video:
Is Street Art Worth Saving? A Conundrum! International mastermind group debates mural and art conservation issues
Mural Conservation Masterclass Discusses Issues for Contemporary Art Murals in Public Places
Bibliography – Public Murals and Street Art Conservation
Questions? Call mural conservator Scott M. Haskins at 805 564 3438