Exploring The Different Types of Urban Art

Exploring The Different Types of Urban Art

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Exploring The Different Types of Urban Art

Exploring The Different Types of Urban Art

Urban art involves a wide range of creative expressions found on the streets of cities around the world, from London to Mexico.

From vibrant murals and thought-provoking installations to graffiti tags, these diverse forms of urban art offer a unique visual experience. Read on to learn more about the urban art world, including the different types of urban art.


What is Urban Art?

Urban art is a type of art that encompasses several artistic styles – for example, graffiti art, 3D street art, large-scale murals and even wheatpaste posters. You can find urban art that draws inspiration from pop art, expressionism, surrealism, and many more styles.

At its core, urban art is a dynamic and vibrant form of artistic expression that has emerged from the bustling streets of cities worldwide.

Urban artists use many techniques such as paint rollers, posters, stencils and spray paint to create pieces of art in urban areas. Ultimately, urban art blurs the lines between art and urban spaces; turning public places into outdoor, public galleries to view and appreciate artwork.

The urban art scene is not static – instead, it evolves with the surrounding environment. The urban art scene constantly adapts to the surrounding areas, often reflecting societal and political issues that people in the area face.


Exploring Graffiti Art

Graffiti street art is an extremely popular modern art form. It refers to artwork created on the streets and other public spaces, whether it be on pavements, disused buildings, parks or even bus stops.

There are several techniques used to create graffiti – for example, stencilling. Graffiti artists will often use stencils to produce designs that can then be reproduced across different locations. You can create stencils of both images and text-based designs; simply create the design, and paint over the stencil.

Some graffiti artists will use spray paint – this can be a great way to create quick designs in vibrant colours. However, for larger graffiti projects, paint rollers are a more common option.

The graffiti world isn’t always easy to understand, and there are many unique graffiti terms used by artists across the world.


Graffiti Tags

Graffiti tags are extremely common in urban areas. Is it the simplest form of graffiti, although some tag designs can be more complex than others.

A graffiti tag usually refers to the artist’s name, crew name or pseudonym. It is a way for graffiti artists to mark their work or their territory. Ultimately, tagging is a way for graffiti artists and graffiti crews to get their names out there.

Artists will tag their name in a wide range of spaces, whether it be lamposts, trains, pavements, or of course, buildings. Some graffiti artists will compete with other artists, and try to get their tag in the most difficult-to-reach location. This is known as ‘heaven spotting’, and can be incredibly dangerous.

Usually, tags are created quickly – it’s a quick way of marking your name. However, the art of tagging has evolved in recent years, and tag designs have become much more complex. Street artists may spend hours and hours perfecting their tag design.

They are often created using spray paint – but can also be created using paint rollers or brushes. It’s also possible to create a graffiti tag using a knife, marker or pen.


Exploring Murals

Murals are one of the most popular art forms and is typically the most favoured among the general public. You can find murals across any urban area – typically, murals span across entire walls and buildings. They can also be painted on ceilings and floors too.

Several techniques are used to create murals – for example:

  • Stencilling
  • Antiquing
  • Sponging
  • Glazing
  • Stippling

Many urban artists will use a combination of these methods to create a mural – for example, they may use stippling to create detail, but sponging to enhance the texture of the piece.

Although some graffiti and mural artists will create murals without permission, many artists are commissioned to create murals to liven up an area, whether it be by local councils or business owners. Beautiful murals can attract tourists to an area and to local businesses, which in turn, can improve the economy too.

You may be wondering what the difference is between mural artists and graffiti artists. Although many elements of the two urban art styles overlap, typically, graffiti artists will not have permission to create graffiti art in public spaces. Mural artists, however, will generally be commissioned or granted permission to create murals.


Exploring Poster and Sticker Art

If you walk through any city centre, you’ll likely see posters on bus stops, lampposts, walls; pretty much any surface. Although some may see it as vandalism or flyposting, it can be a form of art too.

Poster art is a form of artistic drawing that is printed – or drawn – on paper. Poster artists can either use painting, calligraphy or graphic design skills to create posters. These posters are then placed around urban spaces to be seen by the public.

Sticker art is a very similar form of urban art to poster art – artists create eye-catching sticker designs of all shapes and sizes and stick them to urban surfaces. Although some can be removed easily, others can be extremely difficult to remove.


Prints and Canvas

Some street artists will begin to create art prints once they’ve developed a reputation on the street art scene.

This can be a great way to monetize their artwork. However, not all artists will create prints for profit. Banksy, for example, created prints to make his art more accessible to the wider public – and sold his prints at a low price.

Many will also create paintings on canvas in the style of urban art. Stony, for example, created graffiti-style paintings combining both words and art. Ultimately, canvas paintings and art prints can be a great way for an artist to boost their reputation and generate profit from their art.

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