The different types of street art You should definitely know about

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There is no form of art more outspoken in its imagination and bolder in its expression than street art. Artists are armed with colour and a message. They are out to share their work with the whole wide world. Graffiti-lined walls, statues on the street and public art instalments are only a few examples of what is possible in street art. 

In this article, The Artment takes you through the different types of street art and what each of them aims to achieve! 


An example of a graffiti

Picture credits: greatwallsofindia

The word ‘graffiti’ comes from the Italian word graffiato which means ‘scratched’. The term refers to writing, painting or drawing made on public property without permission from the authorities in most cases. 

In the ancient times, graffiti artists roamed freely, making their mark on public walls and buildings but as the world moved towards more advanced law and order systems, the art form came to be seen as an act of vandalism. 

Graffiti is often loud, colourful and has a strong message – conveying the artists’ identity or the condition of the community surrounding the painted walls. Spray paints, brushes and other such implements are commonly used. 

Flash mob

A snapshot of a flash mob
Picture credits: justanotherwizard

Perhaps the most fun form of street art is the flash mob where a group of people come together without the prior knowledge of the public, and perform in a public space. Most often than not, this performance is a dance. 

Flash mobs are sudden and emerge from the crowd. There is a common cue for those who are part of the effort but other then the dancers, everybody is unaware of what’s to happen. 

Flash mobs are often employed to spread a message since they can draw large crowds towards the activity. They are performed in crowded places like malls and parks to attract maximum attention. The best part is, they are completely legal! 

Street Theatre 

A snapshot of a girl performing street theatre

Picture credits: justanotherwizard

Street theatre has a rich history in India. Theatre groups have often taken their plays into economically backward neighborhoods and working-class communities to boost their morale, incite enthusiasm and provide quality entertainment. 

Street plays are very different from what you may see in the theatre. Many loud musical instruments are used to attract attention. The number of actors is higher since the group needs to stand out in the crowd. Costumes are simple but a number of props like banners and posters are used. 

Poster art 

An image of street poster art and its artist

Picture Credits: cheapfestival
It may seem easy but a great deal of work goes into creating a poster. Poster art is unique in its approach since it requires precision and detail. While posters may be used for marketing and advertising purposes, they can also be used to beautify public spaces. 

It is almost a kind of graffiti but the location and material used for its installation differ. Posters can be premade and installed anywhere whereas the meaning and significance of graffiti depend upon the wall and the locality in which it is installed. 

Street sculpture 

and image of bronze sculptures on a street

Picture Credits: ol_bz

We see statues and sculptures everywhere on the streets. In India, important historical figures are sculpted in materials like stone and metal to mark roads and localities. 

What distinguishes street sculpture from sculptures displayed in art galleries and museums is that street sculptures were made with the specific purpose of being displayed on the streets – for the public in public spaces. 

They are often made and installed to spur interaction with and within the public, to mark the historical significance of a location or to beautify an otherwise distasteful space.  

These are only a few examples of the types of street art. In a way, anything creative pursuit that is accessible to common people and passers-by and spurs a collective response can be street art!

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1 comment

  • Krunal Ahuja

    Delhi has some amazing graffiti artists. Would love it if they were mentioned!

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