Everything has a trajectory. Street art has had one of the biggest. Moving from a pure expression on the streets to corporate marketing and everything in between. Councils will have projects not to mention schools and businesses. It is a way to brighten up spaces and bring in new ideas and forms. Spray work in general can be modified to bring in acrylic paints via spray guns. Scale is key to this and now the momentum is huge. By and large though there is another factor which is money. The artists compete for jobs and it can sometimes come down to price. It isn’t always the case that the artists have to compete on jobs but it does happen quite a lot too.
What does this mean for the artists? What if there stylistic work is copied due to losing a job? This in itself is a problem that rarely happens as everyone understands the artistic integrity of work. Graffiti on the other hand can have a voice though marginal through a smaller amount of talented painters. Why though are there so few to get jobs in this competitive environment? Graffiti it seems is also about artistic integrity but there is a smaller amount of work made that has a commercial application due to the nature of graffiti itself.
Graffiti was never designed for commercial work but had more applications in fine art. It was the step child of pop art. It came to express an attitude of improving reality. But then why haven’t the lives of graffiti artists haven’t changed in the same way? There are examples in fine art like Retna or Futura. There is a smaller more customised commercial aspect. In other words it won’t find itself on tea towels but a piece of commercial art or fine art.
There is a clear difference in sensibility where street artists are happy to mass produce items for commercial gain. It is harder to get mass appeal out of graffiti because it is a cultural product of change. The change was for people to improve their lives where there is no struggle with a lot of street art. There is a minority though that did want change such as Banksy but other interests have taken over. Money has taken over and establishment. Now it is a place for experts and connoisseurs. The down side is it looks out of place on the streets unless it is an organised effort where graffiti still fits in to the street dynamic.