Sometimes it is a talisman who is having adventures on the behalf of an artist, a part of him/herself who stays behind and watches the area.
At other times it is a character seen through a mirror, an alter-ego who represents a fictional part of their inner world who has been set free onto the street to interact. It may be a branding element, a logo, or signature that lays claim to the artwork it is attached to. By itself it is often a form of marking territory; a practice begun by graffiti writers decades ago.
Whether it is a symbol or a figure, it is undoubtedly a personification of some part of the artists id, one that is so individual that you can spot it from a distance and if you are a fan, you’ll smile in recognition.
Many street artists have a discernable style, that is true; a hand-style, a recurrent motif, color palette, a topic that reappears, a technique of application, even a likely location in the urban landscape where they are most likely to appear.
Of that number, fewer have developed a character or a motif so well defined in our minds that it can stand alone, but we have found a few over the decades. Each is imbued with memory, with place, with personality, with character.
March 21 hit us this week and that means Spring and that means more birds, flowers, sidewalk sales, thigh-high shorts, and Street Art and graffiti are on their way! Great to find this new brick wall falling apart by Aakash Nahalini in the subway this week, and then to learn that it is a sketch for future ideas. Also we’re on the look out for a new sculptural Faile tribute to Revs somewhere on NYC streets, and you might have seen a few new bird houses from XAM. Aside from some of the regular players, you can be sure there are some new kids on the block because this form of expression continues to expand and whether its a one-off, or the start of a long career, the street continues to inspire artists to get their stuff out there and skip the proscribed route.
Meanwhile, here’s our weekly interview of the street, this week featuring Aakash Nihalani, Ayatollax, Bast, Be Super, David Gouny, El Sol 25, Foxx Face, and Oculo.