color in the streets

"Street art" has vaulted beyond it's origins of graffiti over the last 10 years into a art form that is now transforming our dying communities into exciting and desirable places to be. With an array of styles, colors, and techniques, street art is literally changing the face of the our neighborhoods. 

This mural by "Lost Souls" is a perfect example of color in the streets. It is adorned with interesting characters and very bright colors. The artist uses bold lines and solid colors to create this incredibly interesting work of art. Most muralists are given creative freedom to create original artwork so it is hard to tell from this image if it was created for a specific reason or just for fun.
This piece is of a Native American woman in traditional dress with a red background and blue aura painted around her. The ability to paint such a realistic image on such a large scale has always been amazing to me. The artist has favored the color red in this image and continues to use it to create tome in the subjects facial features.
The idea of mural painting is by no means a new one however, over the last 20 years the mural has become synonymous with graffiti. It is difficult to tell if the background was painted before the robot was added or if it is a part of the image. In this piece by Parlee, he has created a robot with exaggerated features. He uses grays and blues to create much of the contour in the figure and then uses a darker shade to create the thin detail lines.
This mural by Alex "Psyckoze" Stolypine was created as part of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program in 2010. The image is very abstract but appears to have an industrial scene in the background with gears and cogs painted in gray and blue tones. It then features 3 translucent figures in yellow. Any image form the background that can be seen through these figures changes color due to the yellow hue.
Seth is a popular artist in the mural scene for pieces such as this one from a 2014 Mural Festival. The image is of a boy with red shoes wearing a striped hooded sweatshirt. The background is a rainbow of colors painted in a target pattern. The boy is interacting with the background as if it were a hanging curtain with a portion of draped over his knees and his face through a hole in the middle. Seth uses pastel colors and thin outlines to create this piece.
In this mural by Brusk, we have a piece that is done in a place that is commonly painted by graffiti artists. The metal security door of a store front. For this piece, Brusk went with an image of a skull which he has divided into thin strips which he has colored in a rainbow of colors that appear to be dripping off of the skull. Brusk has gone with a graffiti style here using thick solid outlines and solid color fills.
In this mural by Masai, we can see that he also comes from a graffiti background by looking at his signature or "tag" at the bottom of the piece. Masai uses a "hard spray" technique in the background which floods the wall with paint and allows it to drip towards the ground creating an effect that makes it look like it is raining from clouds. The figure in the image is a large bird in flight or taking off. Masai uses many different spray techniques and very few colors to create this mural.
"Never 2501" is a piece created by Run. It is an excellent use of space incorporating the exposed plumbing of the buildings exterior into his work. Using only black, white, and gold, Run has painted an image of a person with the obvious features of face and hand wearing an ornate costume that combines black and white stripes and swirls. He then uses a few gold line to create breaks in the piece with the character actually interacts with.
Chris Dyer created this piece for the 2013 Mural Festival. He uses hard outlines and vibrant colors to create a very interesting character with what would normally be considered "monster-like" features but does so in such a way that makes it look pleasant. The word "positive" painted into the bottom lip of the character doesn't hurt either. His use of color and choice of accessories on his character give it a yoga-like quality.
Cenz is another well known artist in the graffiti world. He he has created a piece that combines both an impressionistic style with the more modern graffiti style. At the bottom you can even see an upside down hand spraying a can of paint which is often common in graffiti characters. The obvious "tag" or signature to the right of the piece just confirms his graf roots. His use of color is very interesting especially in his fills. Notice how he starts with a darker background color like green and then uses a lighter shade to create movement within the piece.
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