Friday, August 12, 2011

Street Art: Buying Street Cred on Mainstream TV

This current wave of popularity and above the ice recognition of Graffiti by the art establishment is not the first time it's happened. That was back in the 80's, and the art and artists were quickly chewed up by the Machine and street art sank back below the radar. We can now begin to see signs of corporate media appropriating Street art. I was watching the Discovery Channel a few days ago, one of those wonders-of-the-universe shows with that impossibly young-looking Physicist. Suddenly, he was in an old building full of graffiti, and he had a spray can in his hand.

 He was describing the collapse of a star, and suddenly, he starts spraying and writes out something about the heavy element production during the collapse (which makes us all star children). Street Art comes to Physics! Some clever producer somewhere thought to make this more hip via Street Art. Imagine a generation of young scientists suddenly thinking graffiti is cool, a new style comprised of chemical reactions, supernovae, and quadratic equations...

Ok, it wasn't long on art, but it was remarkable to see this breaking out on the Science Channel, with the host of the show looking like an outlaw (where was his bandanna/respiration mask?).

Of course, he really wasn't being a ninja because after he's done, he walks out of the building, and when he's a couple of hundred feet away, there's an explosion, and, like the star he was describing, the building collapses. See, he wasn't really painting over anything, though for a minute, it bought him cool. Amazing to see Street Art leaking into the mainstream.

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