The Perpetual Magic of Small Art On The Streets

“I was thinking about the whole idea of genius and creative people, and the notion that if you create some magical art, somehow that exempts you from having to pay attention to the small things.” ~ Bell Hooks

On the street, the most magical art is sometimes the most miniature.

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TV With Cheese. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It can be easy to overlook the small and smartly cut stencil or meticulously markered sticker that pops up on a dumpster or illuminates a light pole when you are being overpowered by the panoramic painting that swallows the expanse of an entire wall. Getting up big is big right now. Making a splash with an ocean of pigments appears to be the norm rather than the exception in art in the streets at the moment – thanks to very organized festivals and welcoming real estate folks and an ever more appreciative appetite by the public.

But that doesn’t mean the petite pieces have perished. At times they appear to proliferate.

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TV With Cheese. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Small Street Art pieces seem to pop up on the streets overnight like mushrooms in the urban forest – aided by the darkness and fertile conditions – small and surprisingly shaped upcroppings, some tasty and complex and others that may poison your pleasant disposition. We still remember the thrill of walking the desolate streets of Williamsburg, Bushwick, Red Hook and Greenpoint in the late 90s/early 2000s and discovering the “hidden” Street Art that suddenly surfaced without announcement. Amidst a sorry series of sadly deflated industrial sites you would see a hand drawn sticker, a grease-penciled poem, a knitted pole cozy, a pasted collage of textures, photos, and text. Its less frequent right now, but the practice has continued partly because it is quick to install and the effect can have impact and a certain intimacy.

Also, not everyone has a burning need for the big stage. As we all know, the biggest talker in the room is not necessarily the most humorous, insightful, genius or certainly, the most magical.

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TV With Cheese. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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TV With Cheese. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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K8 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz. From The Natural History Street Art 2013 Series. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz. From The Natural History Street Art 2013 Series. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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RAE (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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CB23 . Foxx Face (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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H (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (Signed but not legible). (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Spidertag (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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$howta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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R (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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