Street Art Projects: Google and Beyond
Cruising through the city streets, street art appears at times like an inspiration apparition in the most grittiest of spaces, at the most random glance moments. Look down at the sidewalk and you might see an unexpected message in spray paint, chalk or crayon to change your entire outlook for the day:
or inspire you to pay attention in a new way, to open up the mystery of a “who made this?” jolt enough to compel a photo-click…an upload…or flat out bring out the brushes, wheat paste and spray cans to create your own murals and wall art:
Once you begin to notice random graffiti messages and the appearance of urban art, your Twitter and Instagram feed will never be the same. Remixed images from pop culture, Queens, Divas, random images and the voices of those less known or heard echo from the walls of the city landscape. Some artists such as Banksy, Shepard Fairey and Swoon have gone from the anonymity of the streets to make successful careers as well-known artists who continue to serve as social change agents in their own right.
In an attempt to help capture a mostly ephemeral art form of public, semi-anonymous and often social change-driven art, in 2014, Google announced an ambitious project to create an online shareware friendly gallery called the Street Art Project, an online depository of over 5000 graffiti images from around the world.
The Street Art Project is an extension of the Google Art Project, which allows you to virtually explore museum collections and exhibitions found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and many others. The project has now grown to nearly 70,000 artworks.
The Street Art Project allows you to search the archive by artist, geography (with an interactive map), topic and key words with an eye to preservation, appreciation and documentation by non-artist-appreciators and artists alike. Google’s Lucy Schwartz writes of the project on the official Google blog,
“The transient nature of street art means it can be at risk of being scrubbed out and lost forever to its legions of fans, but long after the paint has faded from the walls, technology can help preserve street art, so people can discover it wherever and whenever they like… Street art may be temporary on our walls and sidewalks, but its beauty and vibrancy live on, on the web.”
This week, The Viral Media Lab celebrates #beyondicelebs #streetart…Join in on your chosen social media platform! Who are your favorite street artists? What kind of visual treasure do deem worth capturing? What did you discover on the Google Street Art Project?
(photos by Kathleen Sweeney: New York City, Williamsburg, Chinatown and Galway, Ireland, ©2015-16)
Check out Street Art and other Utopias to learn more!