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Brooklyn Street Art

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“Street Art / Today” features 50 of the Most Influential Street Artists

Posted on May 30, 2016

It’s nearly impossible to arrange the work of Street Artists into lists of “top” or “most popular” or “most influential”, but it happens all the time now particularly as the street art world morphs into a commercial and professional scene for some. But it’s a dodgy business when one tries to rank art and artists – and most people will disagree with your list no matter what.

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Street art / today. Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong. Lannoo Publishers. Belgium. 2016.

At best it is useful to devise a set of metrics to measure, compare, and contrast works amidst the chaos and to imbue a sense of order and perhaps, hierarchy – although anathema to founding roots of punk/ situationist/ culture jamming philosophies that would detest the very word. Academia at the moment is studying and devising those metrics according to their unique values and understanding, as are auction houses, cultural curators, art dealers, historians, collectors, art sellers, and the actual people who make art.

Street art / today: The 50 most influential street artists today by Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong from Lannoo publishers in Belgium devises a narrow criterion for selection of these artists, according to the preface. “The featured artists have been chosen according to their productions in the public space over the past two years. We examined their consistency in terms of style and technical quality, the influence their originality has had on other practising artists, and their popularity across various social media outlets.”

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Street art / today. Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong. Lannoo Publishers. Belgium. 2016.

This of-the-moment selection of popularity may be primarily aimed at collectors who are able to purchase the fine art works through galleries or dealers, more than historical students or fans of the scene. You may even see this as a catalog, a quick primer for the investor and a helpful snapshot of a moment in the evolving mural movement that is bringing these amazing talents to curated festivals globally as commercial vehicles or products or revitalizers of economically challenged cities.

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Street art / today. Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong. Lannoo Publishers. Belgium. 2016.

The selection here also may favor the artists who have access, the freedom to travel, a formal arts education, some financial wherewithal, and the savvy to market one’s work digitally to those surfing the Internet. Many here are excellent marketers and are tirelessly pursuing professional careers in contemporary art with their public works often augmenting their gallery shows and dealers whom they sell through and the direct collectors whom they meet via social media.

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Street art / today. Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong. Lannoo Publishers. Belgium. 2016.

While the more accepted definition of Street Art is illegal and unsanctioned, the majority of images here are of fully realized, usually large, legal or sanctioned murals by illustrators, designers, painters; and they are documented here most often by the artists themselves. Rather than looking at this as Street Art, with few exceptions it may be more accurate to say it is a book of legal commissioned/permissioned murals by artists who have roots as Street Artists or graffiti artists.

It is a beautiful aggregation, and certainly many of these artists have been interviewed and regularly featured on websites and other free cultural outlets like this one providing depth, context, analysis, information, and exposure. Having a hard copy of this collection of fifty in your hand will help freeze this moment for posterity as the scene/s continue to evolve.

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Street art / today. Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong. Lannoo Publishers. Belgium. 2016.

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Street art / today. Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong. Lannoo Publishers. Belgium. 2016.

Photos of the book plates by © Jaime Rojo

Street art / today: The 50 most influential street artists today by Bjørn Van Poucke & Elise Luong published by Lannoo. Belgium.

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