Street art is probably one of the most unrestricted forms of expression, existing without the confines of the formal art world. Street artists have the freedom to create and express their thoughts and ideas while communicating directly with the general public.
The street art movement slowly emerged in France during the 60's with a few “rebel” artists such as Gerard Zlotykamien and Ernest Pignon-Ernest. These artists felt forced to turn to the streets in order to express themselves and their political views. Ernest’s first street works were a direct reaction to France’s involvement with the nuclear strike force on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
During the 70’s, this form of urban art exploded onto the streets of the United States, and, over time, became visually attractive to the public who started becoming curious about particular artists, styles or messages.
These, often anonymous depictions, drawings and paintings in urban public places have slowly over the last forty years undergone a major transformation in public opinion, becoming socially accepted and respected as forms of art. However, now a new form of street artists has emerged…artists who want to be ‘known’ and for their work to adorn not only public spaces but also the private walls of our homes.
Some street artists such as Banksy (UK) and Blek le rat (France) have earned international attention for their work and have helped transition street art into the mainstream art world. Today, numerous freelance street artists have become recognized for their work and brought into the public eye, whether by choice or not, by art
professionals, galleries, collectors, and the general public.