Street Art Research

The distinguishing between street art and graffiti includes several traits. It addresses a public outside and inside of the art world, political, ephemeral, economic matters, and uses visualization of message. Street art is not concerned with tagging, addresses the contemporary art, and is not gang related. My choice of the street art work was ‘The Fallen 9000.’ The 9000 silhouettes of the fallen soldiers were laid out on the sand of beach Normandy when celebrating the Day of Peace.

For this purpose, the British artists Andy Moss and Wardley Jamie had invited numerous volunteers to take part in the project devoted to the peace in the world. Normandy beaches with 9,000 silhouettes represented fallen people as a result of the Second World War. With this title, the authors intended to remind people about all the horror of the wars to all the humanity. They wanted to remind about all the fears and dead allied forces, Germans, and innocent people at that time to commemorate those dead people.


The relevance of the street art projects on the topic of war is supported by current events in Syria, Libya, Islamic countries, etc. Initially, the team consisted of sixty volunteers and further was spread to 500 volunteers from the local residents which arrived to help the installation. As a result, it lasted only few hours. Then it was washed by the tide, but had great influence on people. On the first day, the team included only 70-80 confirmed volunteers which agreed to come from all over the world and help this idea become reality. Everybody knew it was not enough to fully complete the project in the 5 hours that they had. To their great surprise, to help. One of the organizators then began explaining of the task and made a demonstration on how to make a sand stencil.

The emotions that authors described during their work on this project were different. Having made the first fallen figure on the sand, the team realized that it was only the first of the fallen and he had family, friends, and relatives. Did they die in the same conditions because of that conflict? The team became the artists of that time. One of the authors said, “When I make a sculpture or a drawing in my imagination that person is for a moment very much there, I often find myself talking to them to see what they think and how they feel, there becomes a connection between me and them.” Hundreds of people have taken their rakes and stencils in hands and embarked on drawing The Day of Peace project was finally started.

To analyze this street art globally, that growing movement took the form of political message to the government and it was especially seen, because the actions took place at the International Day of Peace. This street art project interested also the other people. To make an accent on the international day of peace, British artists used rakes and stencils for this idea. Unfortunately, the play lasted only a few hours, and then it was washed away by the tide, but that did not make it less inspiring.

This street art work is very figurative. The title includes 9000 fallen. 9000 people drawn in the sand was the number of people who died on June 6. These sorrowful events happened during the Second World War as a sample of what happens in the peace absence.

To compare my chosen work of street art to the works that were represented at lectures, I chose Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc of 1981. It was not related to the topic of war, however, it also touched the governmental interests. March 15, 1989, was the most tensed moment in the eight-year battle between the artist Richard Serra and the government bureaucracy. However, Serra’s specific structure was removed in 1981 from the Lower Manhattan despite overwhelming international and national support for its remaining at that site. The General Services Administration (GSA) has established a comprehensive organization of checks and balances with the selection and committing of this work. On the one hand, the response from civil servants and others around the square was the same: the sculpture cannot exist. Therefore, Regional Administrator gave the recommendation that the sculpture was removed from the panel. The decision made the author angry. He argued that the sculpture was site-specific. Removing it would be the equivalent of destroying the piece.

In addition, Serra filed a $30 million lawsuit against the GSA to prevent the government from removing the sculpture. To support his lawsuit, he cited the first and fifth amendments regarding the trademark violations, breach of contract, copyright infringement, etc. Unfortunately, after several months of litigation, the courts remained the original decision, and tilted arc was not there anymore. That was an example how street art reveals the critics of the government and how the government cannot afford that critics. Just like the example of the ‘9000 Fallen’, street art of Serra had temporal character. There is no role of public in determination of the sculpture and determination of whether the war will touch their state. Final solution is always by the government and with help of the street art people can talk with statesmen. As a minimalist artist, Serra blamed the public for rejection of his work, but, in fact, it was inevitable.

Another example from the lecture was of Matta-Clark. In the decade between receiving a bachelor of architecture from Cornell University and death in 1978, Matta-Clark was a leading member of the New York avant-garde. His work ‘Splitting’ of 1974 was prominent for that time. Thus, it was Matta-Clark’s experience that the roof over his head and his family could, literally and figuratively, be destroyed. When someone is born in the family of two artists, it is inevitable to be a little bit of artist. From his dad, he inherited antipathy towards conformal architecture. Consequently, Matta cooperated with his father, but then he denied his ideas. Their relationship seemed to have been not very good.

His work some time ago was represented outside of gallery presentation since his subversive activities were based on a critique of bourgeois American culture. That was common for many artists of 1960s. The artist wanted to focus on the dehumanization of the modern world. ‘9000 Fallen’ depicted the dead bodies on the beach. In this street art work, the author used the abandoned buildings as his instrument. He carved the patterns creating unexpected incisions. The light from the incision invaded the interior of the joint and rooms with a swath of brilliance. Matta-Clark created a collage of photographs that re-created the experience of unprecedented destruction.

That was the house of Matta-Clark where he literally drank and ate. A certain level of violence was necessary to accomplish this task and, as Matta-Clark sticks to the basics with a sledgehammer, it looked pretty dangerous.