Category Archives: Theme: History and Social Issues

Street Art: Christmas (Part 2)

Quoted from wikipedia:

“The motivations and objectives that drive street artists are as varied as the artists themselves. There is a strong current of activism and subversion in urban art. Street art can be a powerful platform for reaching the public, and frequent themes include adbusting, subvertising and other culture jamming, the abolition of private property and reclaiming the streets. Other street artists simply see urban space as an untapped format for personal artwork, while others may appreciate the challenges and risks that are associated with installing illicit artwork in public places. However the universal theme in most, if not all street art, is that adapting visual artwork into a format which utilizes public space, allows artists who may otherwise feel disenfranchised, to reach a much broader audience than traditional artwork and galleries normally allow.”

Graffiti Christmas tree with “toy” ornaments: taken in St. Petersburg, Russia in June, 2008 (originally uploaded by быдло-метро трэш-мажор)

Merry Fishmast:” taken in Locarno, Switzerland in 2006 (originally uploaded by angora frog)

Winter in America:” by Chris Stain, taken in Norway (?), September 2008 (Originally uploaded by Romanywg)

Darth, I am Your Father” by eye, taken in Cardiff, Wales, UK, Nov. 2008 (Originally uploaded by Thiefree)

Santa’s Ghetto: Found on the security barrier or ‘apartheid wall’ in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, this graffiti art is from Italian street artist, Blu (photo taken in Dec. 2007 and originally uploaded by eddiedangerous )

Endangered Peace Dove: An original Banksy, well-renowned street artist, also found in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine (photo taken in May 2008 and originally uploaded by hazy jenius ); Note: for a news report on this, click here

Street Art: Christmas (Part 1)

Quoted from wikipedia:

Street art is any art developed in public spaces — that is, “in the streets” — though the term usually refers to art of an illicit nature, as opposed to government sponsored initiatives. The term can include traditional graffiti artwork, stencil graffiti, sticker art, wheatpasting and street poster art, video projection, art intervention, guerrilla art, flash mobbing 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.

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Subway Greeting: Shot taken in London, UK (2006); Originally uploaded by daveknapik

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Tough Santa: pic taken in Montreal, Canada, 2008 (originally uploaded by Christian et Cie)

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Sneaking Elfvis: part of a series of graffiti art found in the streets of Auckland, New Zealand, 2007 (originally uploaded by Robyn Gallagher)

Holiday Satire: a stenciled message taken in Norwich, UK, Dec. 2007 (originally uploaded by Simon_K)

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Elf by street artist Box. (taken in Jan. 2008 in Bristol, UK; originally uploaded by Box.)

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Wheatpasted art by street artist Kriebel (taken in Dec. 2007 in London, UK; originally uploaded by Kriebel)

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Statement on Consumerism: taken in Jan. 2008, somewhere in Canada (originally uploaded by sin against nature)


Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial (aka The Nameless Library)


Flickr pic originally uploaded by Sarah Kernohan

Location: Judenplatz, Vienna, Austria

Artist: Rachel Whiteread, concrete and steel, 2000

Quoted from Wikipedia:
The outside surfaces of the volume are cast library shelves turned inside out. The spines of the books are facing inwards and are not visible, therefore the titles of the volumes are unknown and the content of the books remains unrevealed. The shelves of the memorial appear to hold endless copies of the same edition, which stand for the vast number of the victims, as well as the concept of Jews as “People of the Book.” The double doors are cast with the panels inside out, and have no doorknobs or handles. They suggest the possibility of coming and going, but do not open.

The memorial represents, in the style of Whiteread’s “empty spaces”… a cultural space of memory and loss created by the genocide of the European Jews. Through the emphasis of void and negative casting rather than positive form and material, it acts as a “counter monument” in this way opposite to the production through history of grandiose and triumphal monumental objects.

As a work of art, the memorial was not intended to be beautiful and as such it contrasts with much of the Baroque art and architecture of Vienna… There is an aspect of discomfort in the monument that was meant to provoke thought in the viewer through the memorial’s severe presence. It was intended to evoke the tragedy and brutality of the Holocaust and in the words of Simon Wiesenthal at the unveiling, “This monument shouldn’t be beautiful, It must hurt.”

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flickr pic originally uploaded by chad k

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flickr pic originally uploaded by mitue

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flickr pic originally uploaded by ShiftOperations

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flickr pic originally uploaded by Robert Scarth

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flickr pic originally uploaded by shlomp-a-plompa

Memory for the Slaves


Detail from slave sculpture

Flickr pic originally uploaded by patripics

Location: In front of the Anglican Church, Stone Town, Zanzibar;

Sculpture by Clara Sörnäs, concrete, 1998

Quoted from an article by Cathleen Falsani for huffingtonpost.com:
In another corner of the cathedral courtyard stands what is, in some ways, an incongruous monument to all that has happened within its walls — a thoroughly modern sculpture by the Scandinavian artist Clara Sornas.

It shows five slave figures, slightly larger than life, chained together in a pit. They are men and women, young and old, with features that show the variety of tribal and ethnic backgrounds that is Africa. Their expressions are neither of torment, nor resignation. They look numb, worn down, and yet somehow defiant.

Perhaps that is because they are only half in the pit. Their heads and shoulders are in the open air, faces exposed to the relentless equatorial sun…

Special thanks: All photos of this sculpture is from patripics for flickr.

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