Street art goes back a long way, technically the earliest form of art known to human kind is street art, where the passages of a cave served as a place for people to live in. Whether it's lawful or not, there is a clear difference between vandalism and arguably aesthetic pieces. When someone scrawls their tag on something for the sake of marking their territory, it is only one step away from urinating in public. However when someone takes the time to create something visually exciting for us to enjoy, then surely it's a different league entirely. Typically, in order to have the time to produce such works requires the say so of local authorities as it wouldn't take long for someone to report you, no matter how well dressed you may be.
Our streets can be drab, especially if they're made of modern materials. The self-similarity of the urban environment often feels dry and uninteresting. A place for living in perhaps needs more than a room with a roof and a power supply. Maybe the environment around the space needs to have something about it that makes a difference, an unusual quality which identifies and diversifies the area. Art really can do this, and it's often the case that little gardens and displays pop up that make an effort to enliven a living space. When done properly, street art can work like a little garden just with much less tending afterwards.
Let's meet Peter Preffington from the UK. He prefers to be called Pref and is a proper street artist. Pref uses typography to create well known slogans on empty spaces in his urban environment. The work makes use of illusion and perspective to write messages within messages and stop and stare sayings. Often, we know the phrase Pref is getting at, and once we see it, that little buzz of understanding runs through our system. It's a clever way of making us think and feel at the same time, and that is what art is really all about. Once we're thinking and feeling simultaneously, life becomes much richer and more enjoyable.
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See the rest of Pref's amazing street art on his instagram feed.
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