In some cases, grafitti artists employ themselves as the voice of the voiceless, leaving behind works of art filled with important political and social undertones.
By Caryn Carver, January 10, 2016
A great piece of street art can be transformative.
It can transform the object on which it appears, of course. But it can also transform the community in which it resides.
Artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn know this.
On the final day of filming a documentary about life in Rio de Janeiro’s hilltop favelas—or Brazilian slums—Koolhaas and Urhahn wondered if the poorly constructed communities could be improved.
Soon, they were converting parts of the community into works of art.
With a few colourful strokes of a paintbrush, these favelas were turned into something that the residents could positively identify with.
The vibrant spirits of communities that had long been overlooked were now visible to the public and impossible to ignore.
In communities around the world, individuals have been using street art to transform dull parts of a city into vivid representations of local identity.
In some cases, grafiti artists employ themselves as the voice of the voiceless, leaving behind works of art filled with important political and social undertones.
In others, community members work together to create large murals that instantaneously brighten the whole city.
In either case, street art is used as a means to expose community characteristics that would otherwise remain hidden beneath the surface.