Saturday, 21 March 2009

street art

In Kuwait, on run down walls and hard to find places, some street artists are claiming the void and voicing their artistic talent through spray paint cans.
This movement is not for or against culture, under or beside galleries diktats. It is within art, within the process of visually exposing colors, words, figures; sharing it with a wide public, signing it with a full name or just an acronym for anonymity.
It all started in the pre-historic caves where men painted on walls. In the arab world, graffiti can be dated from the pre-Islamic era, where travelers carved their names or symbols in Musnad, the language of the time, on huge rocks in the deserts of Arabia.
In the mid 70's in New York subways, when gangs fought, tags and graffiti popped up and transformed the city. In the 80's, Europe began to see the explosion of street art with stencils, molds, pictures, videos, mosaics, etching on glass, walls, sidewalks etc.
From the simple name signature, it has evolved, with time, into a new pictorial dimension. The thrill of the unauthorized comes with pleasure of being seen at a large scale. Disturbing the usual visual scene, artists can experiment at ease.
"The canvas was never a surface for expression for arabs" said Nedim Kufi during his exhibition in Kuwait. He felt that the paper was a natural traditional tool.
Can walls be the fundamental instrument to expression?
Will the artists find enough guts to integrate the spray cans into their own identity and come out with local version of street art?


Anonymous said...

I have started a group on Flickr concentrating on collecting images of graffiti and street art in Kuwait. Please feel free to add to it.

sarah said...

thank you for your flickr link. I will add the pictures I took.
Are you an artist yourself?

Ghadah said...

I've been interested in Kuwait's street art for some time now. I think that's where it's truly at. A good place to stake out such work is abandoned parking lots. Some glorious works there. I often fantasize myself with a hood and a can of black spray paint scribbling 'Liar' over ads and candidacy billboards. I just don't have the drive for it at this age and don't think my legs will carry me far if I need to make a run for it.

sarah said...

Do you need a support car to help you run faster? I am sure we can find a way to minimize that problem...
As for the attire and fashion diktat, a hood is not necessary. In Rome do as the Romans: Could a full Munakaba dress code do the job?
let me know...