Why Do People Hate Street Art?

Why Do People Hate Street Art?


In recent years, street art has emerged as a new art phenomenon, with artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey gaining greater acclaim and recognition in communities all over the world. However, this controversial practice has also provoked a lot of opposition. Alex Gardega describes his work to be “soulless and flavourless.” This street art hate is not new. The question is, why? Why do people have such a strong dislike towards the practice?

Art is an experience. The evaluation of art has been a field of psychological study that started as early as the 1800s. In 2004, psychology scholars divided factors that affect the interpretation of art into three groups: aesthetic components of the piece, personal traits of the viewer, and context. Prior to the emergence of Modernism in the 1960’s, art was solely evaluated on its visual components. But as attributes of artworks changed, non-aesthetic features became more important in the evaluation of artworks.

So what is the relation between these psychological processes and the experience of street art? And why is it so different than experiencing other art?

Personal characteristics of the viewer influence their evaluation of the art. In street art, those who understand how to interpret the art and have interest in it will have a greater appreciation for the work.

Imagine two people in a contemporary art museum. The first person is a modern art enthusiast who has been exposed to all different artworks and understands how to interpret the abstract masterpieces. The other person, on the other hand, has only been exposed to institutional art like that of Michelangelo and Da Vinci. Between the two, the one who knows how to interpret the art would be more receptive and overall would have a much better experience with the contemporary art.

The dislike for street art is worsened when people align it with graffiti. This association negatively effects people’s opinions on street art because graffiti is often seen as illegal writing and vandalism. However, there are major differences between the two practices that make the illegality arguments irrelevant. In contrast to graffiti, which destroys a space, the purpose of street art is to reinvent and reconstruct a space. Street art adorns the urban space whereas graffiti accelerates its decay. But the most important distinguishing factor between the two is the meaning and function of street art, which can only be understood if the viewer looks both the non-aesthetic and aesthetic components.

As mentioned earlier, traditionally in institutional art, only aesthetic features were to be considered in the interpretation of artworks. However, street art challenges this principle because there are so many non-aesthetic features that are crucial to the purpose of street art. The medium, subject matter, overall artistic appeal, and, most importantly, the context are all crucial to the deep meanings of street artworks. I argue that many people are unsusceptible to street art because they don’t recognize these important non-aesthetic features.

The receptiveness to street art can be increased with better understanding and better avail of its salient components, namely its site-specificness.

Why is it important to appreciate street art?

I believe that street artists have the power to touch people in different communities using the elements that make it so compelling, namely its site-specificness. Street artists can also reach a wider audience by taking into account the personal characteristics of people in certain areas. Street art has to power to promote democracy, transform space, and make people feel like they are a part of the urban space in which they inhabit. They can utilize the power of the transfiguration of space to make people feel they can identify themselves with the city in which they reside.

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Riverdale: Taking Teenage Angst to a New Level

Like any good show, I can't live with it, and I can't live without it.

Riverdale, CW’s hit TV show based on Archie Comics, is coming to the end of its second season. Although I didn’t start watching it until months after the first season came on Netflix, I was immediately a fan. The characters are not only gorgeous, but also intriguing. They each have very distinct personalities. The core four characters are an unlikely group of friends who bond over the horrors that befall their small town.

Archie is the lovable redhead football player. Betty is the innocent but dangerously curious school newspaper reporter. Jughead is the brooding loner from the other side of the tracks. Veronica is the new girl from New York that is accustomed to a swanky lifestyle.

Spoilers ahead:

In the first season, a murder shakes the town, and the young detectives scramble to find the killer of their classmate’s brother. Startling secrets are revealed along the way, and the circumstances surrounding the murder are dark and disturbing. The first season was intense and captivating, causing high expectations for season two. With great expectations comes great disappointment.

Season two kicked off with a new conflict: a killer referred to as the Black Hood. Although he never killed that many people, he struck fear into the minds of Riverdale’s residents. An interesting aspect of this character was his motive for murder. He aimed to rid the town of sinners. Based on my understanding of the word, that would mean killing everyone. Thankfully, he had a more specific definition: sexual predators, drug dealers, etc. The core four had plenty of sins that could have gotten them killed, but they all survived until the Black Hood took his last breath.

The Black Hood storyline disappointed me because of his creepy obsession with Betty. The bond he formed with her brought out her dark side, which should have stayed suppressed until she could get professional help.

Another disappointing aspect of season 2 is the apparent lack of consequences for actions. The four teenagers have plenty of skeletons in their closet, but aren’t paying for their ill-advised decisions. In my opinion, the worst are the two girls: Betty and Veronica. Betty’s dark side, cleverly referred to as Dark Betty, reveals some deep-seated issues that she should really see someone about instead of becoming an underaged webcam girl. Veronica’s sketchy, rich father becomes a regular in season 2 after being released from prison for fraud. He conducts shady business dealings in Riverdale, eventually involving his daughter in his (borderline) illegal business. Talk about a bad role model.

Veronica deals with most of her daddy issues by running to her boyfriend, Archie, for some love-making. Frankly, they do too much of that. Given that they’re 16 and it seems to be the only constant in their relationship.

Also making an appearance in season 2 is Betty’s long-lost brother. He introduces her to web-camming and kills someone “in self-defense,” so it’s safe to say he’s not my favorite character. Also not my favorite is Penelope, the promiscuous mother of neglected Cheryl, whose father killed her brother in the first season. Her role this season is as a courtesan to the lonely men of Riverdale.

There are many other undesirable storylines in season 2, including an FBI agent hiring Archie to collect information to prove Mr. Lodge, Veronica’s dad, is conducting illegal business. That ends with an unexpected yet unsatisfying twist. Archie has plenty of information to convict Hiram since he was taken under his wing as a sort of “intern,” if you will. However, Archie stays loyal, which causes me to question his morals. Maybe Veronica is right for him after all.

Although the second season has been a bit of a letdown so far, I will continue to watch it in hopes of it redeeming itself. I’ve come this far, and I’m not the kind of person who can just stop watching a show as intense as Riverdale.

I'll sum up with an explanation of Riverdale I saw online:

"Riverdale is a post-apocalyptic, soft-core porno set around the Scooby-Doo universe."

Riverdale airs on the CW at 8/7C on Wednesday nights-Episodes are available to stream on the CW app

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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7 Artists You Need To Add To Your Music Palette ASAP You Wouldn't Find On Your Own

Looking to listen to something new?

1. Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis will give you a great music high. Her music is the most chill considering she has one of the most soft angelic voices. She’s almost like a mini Colombian Amy Winehouse with a twist, but with more indie pop and R&B related sounds. Has worked a lot with Tyler, the Creator and even some with the Gorillaz.

2. Circa Survive

A Pennsylvania based alternative post-hardcore band that gives you a bit of Mars Volta vibe. A little less metal, but the right post-hardcore band you should be listening to.

3. Jorja Smith

British singer from Walsall, West Midlands that has worked with Drake, Kali Uchis, Preditah, and others. New artist with a great old and new R&B vibes. Very wholesome voice to on a walk to class.

4. Dounia

Lil small R&B vocalist slowly rising up from the underground music scene.

5. Karnivool

Perth, Australia based band. Very tool inspired progressive metal.

6. Toka

A little known Soundcloud artist from the states who dabbles in grime, future garage, and dubstep.

7. The Garden

A healthy dose of weirdness with lots of synthy melodies, awesome bass riffs, and jester themed music videos. Punk band from California founded by the Shears twins who also have their own side projects as well.

Cover Image Credit: Kali Uchis / YouTube

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