THE CODE OF THE STREETS. SOCIAL AND ARTISTIC EXPERIENCE OF THE WALLS OF RIGA
Keywords:graffiti, social art, Pompeii, New York, Riga
AbstractIn the past few years graffiti has become a very popular topic for discussions. Many analytic researches prove that the different expressions of graffiti are a suffi- ciently interesting field for studies in Latvia and elsewhere in the world. It might seem strange – a visual phenomenon that is most frequently associated with vandal- ism, has taken an important place in the work of art and culture researchers. What makes this self-evident sight so appealing? Furthermore, why do we perceive graffiti as a self-evident sight? Quite possibly it is a code that set in our social perception thousands of years ago, and what we call graffiti in the 21st century is an ancient tradition that has been, and still is, practised all over the world. Examples of ancient graffiti have been found in the city of Pompeii, Italy, but the most significant place to search for it is the New York City. Street art and graffiti of Riga has adopted a lot from both of these traditions. Local urban environment is alive and densely filled with different socially and artistically significant writings and drawings. The graffiti of Riga fits in the context of worldwide examples and has become a valuable part of social art, introducing artistic and political tendencies, as well as interpreting them in public environment.
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