I Heart Street Art: Why Do You Make Street Art?

Jaut on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.jpg
Bike photo by Steve Rotman.

Last night, I attended the San Francisco Street Art book release party. Steve Rotman and Chris Brennan (whom we talked to last week) hosted a panel of four street artists. The question first and foremost on everyone's mind: Why do you make street art? They all had tons of great things to say, and there was a lot of great back and forth with the audience, but for brevity's sake, we'll keep it quick.

First, we hear from Jaut, whose bike we see above. Jaut says he likes to "hide stuff in plain sight," so be on the lookout.

Here's why Jaut makes street art:

I do it because I love to be outside, I just love to express myself outside. I love to be able to say anything i want, whenever I want, and for people to talk about it. Fun, free, easy.

Flickr Photo Download_ Abe and George.jpg
Abe and George photo by Senator.

Surely you'll recognize Senator's work: Big paste-ups (and little stickers) of American Presidents. I've seen mostly Lincolns and Washingtons, a stray Kennedy or two, and a Clinton. Senator assures me he's done an Obama already, but I've yet to see one in the flesh.

Here's why he likes street art and why he himself takes part:

It's a voice for people who normally don't have a voice. All of a sudden you can be free and say what you want. I do it because I like the adventure.

Cab on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.jpg
Fish photo by Steve Rotman.

I get a funny feeling in my stomach whenever I see Cab's fish swimming down an alley or sidewalk. I think because they're kind of a gnarly and unexpected optical illusion. And maybe also because koi ponds usually smell kind of gross.

Why Cab makes street art:

I enjoy the rush. I guess it's the same rush that people get off from shop lifting, lying, or stealing cars. But I think what I'm doing is less of a crime. [...] When I do something that's more political, and want everyone to see, if I just did an art piece and put it in a museum or gallery, only the rich and educated would be able to see it, because the average, everyday person does not go into an art museum or into a gallery.
Adios Fremont St. 2 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.jpg
Adios Douche Bag photo by Eddie.

I bet everyone and their mother saw Eddie's farewell to George Bush. Why? Because Eddie stuck it on the motherfucking Bay Bridge.

Eddie explains:

It's a matter of public space. Whose space is it? That's a big issue for me. You walk through the city and it's more and more dominated by advertising. It's getting to a point where there's no blank space. You go to take a piss in a bar and there's an ad. So you put a sticker on it. There's a conversation going on out there. Most of it is talking at you; it's not a dialogue. So whether I'm invited or not, I'm gonna participate in the conversation.

THE END

There's tons more pictures of everybody's stuff on Flickr. Have a look.

Oh and Brennan took a picture of the audience. Quite a turnout, right? Look, there's me!

Special thanks to Cinch, a free service that records live audio you call in with your phone and spits it backatcha as an mp3 via RSS.
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