Temporary Street Art That’s Changing The Graffiti Game

Public space has become a playground for artists of all disciplines in the last few decades, in part due to the popular embrace of graffiti, hip-hop culture, street art and the D.I.Y. movement. Thanks to a greater rate of participation than perhaps ever, public space is actually becoming more, well, public.

While much work on the street art scene is typically done without permission—and by definition illegal to some extent—it doesn’t necessarily fall into the vandalism column… especially when it leaves no harm or trace after a short time. Call it how to make street art, call it post-graffiti, call it a way to get your artwork out of your studio (or off the kitchen table). The below artists are all taking pains to devise techniques that are minimally impactful to property in pursuit of getting their vision on the street. There are no limits on materials or message; these examples just skip the damage.

Aakash Nihalani began using painter’s tape by accident, when attaching screen prints to the wall for a student exhibition in the late 2000s. More interested in tracing the shadow of the pedestal on a wall, Nihalani stumbled into his signature approach, which he’s taken to the streets. Using optical illusion and a captivation with city architecture as his muses, Nihalani has been pulling shapes out of thin air and tracing them with fluorescent masking tape for passersby to run into and consider. He likes the experience to be playful, but the geometry and the context he uses when creating the work are pure science.

Custom Frame Those Prints Yourself!

Let me let you in on a secret: nearly every frame in my house is secondhand. It’s not hard to find solid timber frames with intact glass panes. And even if the glass is broken or missing — there’s a fix for that.

If you’ve got a mantel that needs a few framed prints, or if you’re wanting to create a gallery wall or a salon-style living area, learning how to frame art yourself could save you some serious cash.

I found three of these matching brass frames and knew they’d be perfect for hanging up a few small prints. This long-stitch embroidery kit image is cute, in a kitschy Australiana kind of way, so I might end up holding onto it after all! But the brass frame is the real star for me.

If you need a frame to fit a specific paper size (eg. A3 or 11” x 17”), or if you need several frames that match, it’s worth buying new. But if you’d like to learn about fixing up an old frame with new backing and matting, then come with me.

Permanent Walls – They Just Want to Paint

This letter will propose to the cities of Los Angeles an inspirational adjustment to the approach to graffiti abatement. One that creates a web of well educated artists and designers ready to give back to society and remain loyal to Los Angeles. Why should we adjust anything to begin with and what’s at stake if we don’t?

The city has spent in excess of 7 million dollars re-painting over how to paint graffiti and has for in excess of ten years. In other words, the city has spent 7 million dollars annually creating new canvas for the thousands of young underserved artists to express themselves and practice their craft and sport. The dollar spend is $868/hour for a year changing nothing. So we, as Los Angeles residents, do something over and over expecting a different outcome. That is by definition – it goes without saying.

Graffiti is an act of vandalism. It is punishable by fines, jail or death. The streets are ripe with these stories. The median age range of artists doing graffiti is 17-20. Looking at this demographic in broad terms, they are in continuation high schools, with single parent households, with the need of at least one government subsidy. In broad terms, each has been caught for something criminal by this time.