Does street art belong in a gallery?
The boundaries between traditional and contemporary art have been a long-standing debate even during modern times. While the present variations of art that thrive in different forms and communities at the moment have been continuously growing in a positive manner — it would be safe to assume that traces of traditionalist views can still be observed in some members of the art industry.
Galleries and exhibits have long been a part of the art community as a way to spread the love for art and entice more people to have a greater appreciation of the pieces that are displayed in the said galleries. For a long time, this particular scene has been dominated by classic works.
And even in the general public, galleries are considered to be a program of sophistication that features select artworks from distinguished artists that organizers deem “worthy” of attention from people. But ever since the contemporary form of art burst into the mainstream during the turn of the 20th century, the rules and boundaries that have long comforted traditional artists were shaken to their core.
For the most part, the contemporary art movement has had its benefits for a greater group of people. While art’s reputation as being exclusive to only the intellectuals and the elite has declined with the modernization of art that makes visual creative expression more “mass-friendly”, there are certainly new ideas and rules that have sprung up from this transition.
And one of these changes is concerned with the acceptability of the many versions of contemporary art in respected programs such as art galleries. Specifically, street art is one of the more talked about forms of modern visual creativity when it comes to the discussion of having pieces under the category included in many of the world’s most distinguished galleries.
The talks about street art deserving a spot in galleries attract people who agree and also those who do not agree from all sides of the debate. For traditional artists, there remains a dash of uncertainty about the validity of street art as a “gallery-worthy” form, especially with most works classified under the category being hastily made in unorthodox circumstances such as in different public areas.
On the other side, some street artists themselves also have their apprehensions about having their works belonging in galleries since they believe that doing so would go against the very idea of street art as a whole. It is general knowledge that street art originates from the inclination of modern artists to make art “seen by all”. To these street artists, confining their works to galleries would go against the essence of making their pieces accessible to everyone from the general public.
However, another group of people believes that street art indeed has benefits when displayed in galleries. While the risks of losing the idea of street art increase, some artists also believe that galleries help in having their works recognized and appreciated by more people — and in turn, street art as a whole would also elevate in terms of being respected by the general public. In the end, it is all about perspective and how you view street art and its place in galleries.
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