Chalk-Le-chat: Like Banksy or Blek Le rat (only 1/100th as talented)
A different kind of chalking
By Norah DooleyLast month I compared my work to Jenny Holzer and this week I am thinking about Banksy and his predecessor, Blek le Rat, (born Xavier Prou,1952) who was one of the first graffiti artists in Paris, and has been described as the “Father of Stencil Graffiti”. Lest you think I am totally out of my mind - I
|Mon petit signature|
Cool, right? It is like Blek Le rat, only I am 1/100th as talented or prolific. I am also considering the moniker "Pastore Fata" after Shephard Fairey but he gets into a lot of trouble so it ma be a bit risky. Running with the Chalk Le-chat idea allowed me to
designed myself a little signature
( see left ). Mostly, I create really simple chalk drawings about the stories I have just told to surprise and I hope delight the children who stumble upon them. If they mystify and inspire those who have not heard my stories - that is great. The fact that the act is noncommercial and intends a democratic inclusiveness. I sometimes draw with my audience, teaching them how to use simple shapes to draw some of the animals that feature as characters in my stories. And other times I leave chalk beside or nearby the drawings, inside a chalk circle of words saying "Express Yourself".
Here is the wiki entry for "street art"
Street art is art, specifically visual art, developed in public spaces — that is, "in the streets" — though the term usually refers to unsanctioned art, as opposed to government sponsored initiatives. The term can include traditional graffiti artwork, sculpture, stencil graffiti, sticker art, wheatpasting and street poster art, video projection, art intervention, guerrilla art, and street installations. Typically, the term street art or the more specific post-graffiti is used to distinguish contemporary public-space artwork from territorial graffiti, vandalism, and corporate art.
Whereas traditional graffiti artists have primarily used free-hand aerosol paints to produce their works,"street art" encompasses many other media and techniques, including: LED art, mosaic tiling, murals, stencil art, sticker art, "Lock On" street sculptures, street installations, wheatpasting, woodblocking, video projection, and yarn bombing. New media forms of graffiti, such as projection onto large city buildings, are an increasingly popular tool for street artists—and the availability of cheap hardware and software allows street artists to become more competitive with corporate advertisements. Much like open source software, artists are able to create art for the public realm from their personal computers, similarly creating things for free which compete with companies making things for profit.
|Children join Chalk le Chat at Honan Librar|
|Banksy - © Clipstone Crop|
Banksy’s latest street pieces which appeared in London over the Easter bank holiday reworks an old anarchist slogan coined by Emma Goldman “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” The piece seems to be a reference to a spate of recent arrests in LA of street artists such as Invader and Revok who are involved with the MOCA show. — New Banksy street piece in London references arrests in LA.
|Blek le Rat in LA|
Blek recognized the great ability of street art to address the populace in ways other art could not. Through stencils often centered on social observation, Blek involved his viewers in a guerrilla war against complacency and conformity, highlighting the strength of the individual and inspiring a reflection upon the status quo. The guerrilla art we are familiar with now has much to thank Blek le Rat for, a point driven home with impact when looking at the work of notorious British-graffiti artist Banksy, whose style is not only based on that of Blek but whose subject matter (including soldiers, rebels and even rats taking over the streets) is inarguably influenced by Blek as well.