Cycling through the streets of eastern-Berlin, I once stumbled across a sign that read: “Steal like an Artist”. I stopped, read it again and was pleasantly surprised. Not only because of the message, but I was also reminded about the importance of art taking on public spaces. Art from the people, to the people.
I’ve always loved the idea of visual art being exposed on the streets. First, it serves as little reminders of inspiration in the middle of the hustle, bustle of the crows and the traffic you’re exposed to in the city. Second, it cuts from restrictive, traditional forms of exhibiting art –in a museum and curated by a few. And third, it demonstrates that the power of art propels cultural and economic development in neighbourhoods and cities.
Speaking of urban art that has taken over the streets and walls of a city, I was last in Miami which had a few neighbourhoods become an open-air museum. Beck was the one behind this project dubbed: Beck’s Urban Canvas, the coolest arts-related event I’ve seen in the city of Miami so far. Miami-based artists were given white murals in different areas of the city for them to express themselves freely and fully.
This idea of making such a vibrant, international and diverse city engage with its artists is something I wish I could see in other cities around the globe. I’ve seen arty concepts and street exhibitions in Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin, but I’d love to find out about more of such initiatives!
It’d be great if you guys could to point out noteworthy examples of street art in your city or neighbourhood.
Tell us also why you reckon that the next Beck’s Urban Canvas should be organised in your city or living area!
Laura Beltrán Villamizar is a Bogotá born, bred in Florida, The Hague, Buenos Aires, Brussels and Berlin. An epicurean traveller and photographer – she also romanticises cities and coffee way out of proportion. Life brought her to Amsterdam, where she currently lives and works. She loves slow travel, slow food and slow journalism and can also have a cup of freshly brewed coffee at any time, any. She can eat her weight in avocados and loves music, nearly all sorts. She embraces dancing, and playing and DJ’ing, adoring beats and drums and hips being shaken.