Sri Lanka becomes a sketch book :Street Art Trend

Street Art

Street Art Trend

Across the past few weeks, the hot topic in every social media was the street art trend that was stormed through the whole country. Every wall in every major city was covered in beautiful street arts within a period of less than two months. The younger generation of the country was actively involved in this movement as one. The baby steps were taken a while back, recovering some existing arts that were destroyed by a certain poster campaign and the Street Art trend moved forward like a hurricane.

Soon the posters from countless walls were removed and recreated with beautiful Street arts. As for today, most of the major cities are symbolizing their native values through these street arts. This has become one of the tourism attractions as well. Few tourists were also spotted actively involved in this campaign too. Although there have been some counter opinions from some people, this street art movement has become one of the campaigns that most Sri Lankan civilians were actively involved in a long period. Influenced by the global street art culture, though making it personalized and well- suited for Sri Lankan culture, this street art trend is now has become another speciality Sri Lanka holds.


Even though street arts are a culture that is still new to Sri Lanka, the global street art movement runs back to 1960’s. Here is a recap about how street arts and graffiti arts evolved through the decades. First thing about this is, street arts and graffiti arts are two different art forms although these two can be seen along with each other. Graffiti are basically word-based (people used to write and scribble on public properties) while street arts are image-based. Street arts are usually unsanctioned artwork executed outside of the context of traditional art venues. Street arts were initially a form that used to reflect a diplomatic arena for people to protest, riot, or rebel. Early graffiti artists co-picked this philosophy as they began to tag their names throughout the metropolitan landscapes of New York City, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. When graffiti grew outward through the U.S., Street Art evolved to involve any visual art created in public locations, specifically informal artwork.

A crucial characteristic of Street Art is its ephemerality. Any unauthorized public work runs the probability of being removed or painted over by authorities or by other artists. This temporariness creates a juxtaposition and power around the work. Street Art can often be regarded as a tool for promoting an artist’s personal schema surrounding current social concerns; a place to admire the artist’s judgment on a variety of issues ranging from politics and environmentalism to consumerism and consumption. Many artists use the public panorama of buildings, bridges, lampposts, underpasses, ditches, sidewalks, walls, and benches to assure their message is seen by a wide fraction of public. As advertising intrudes, the mutual perception on a constant daily basis, Street Art has been lay claim to a counteroffensive.

History of graffiti

The history of graffiti dates to prehistoric times. Lascaux cave paintings are a good example for this. In the 1st century BC, Romans were regularly in scribbled messages on public properties. Across World War II, it became trendy for soldiers to write the phrase “Kilroy was here,” along with a simple sketch of a bald figure with a large nose peeking over a ledge, on facades along their way. 

Hip- hop graffiti dates to 60’s. They were originated in Negro and Latino neighborhoods in New York City, USA. Sooner, graffiti began appearing on city exteriors. By the 1980s, New York viewed graffiti’s intrinsic destruction as a major apprehension. But writers considered this as a mere challenge and worked harder to reach their objectives. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, numerous graffiti writers began to shift towards imagery.

At the beginning of the millennium, this rise has remained, with artists using all sorts of materials to carry out works in public spaces. Street Art revives to be a popular kind of art globally, with many of its experts rising to fame and conventional success. The movement from the street to the gallery also suggests a growing recognition of graffiti and Street Art within the mainstream art world and art history.

Looking at the global aspects of street art culture, what seemed to realize is that Sri Lankan street art movement has an entirely different context. Many of the artwork that carried out throughout the island represents the heritage of Sri Lanka, the cultural diversity, environmental concerns, native values of the areas and historical values. These aren’t clearly a form of a rebellion; therefore, it only adds value to the country. Sooner in the “The Sri Lankan Street Art Trend” may become an iconic mark in world art history. Who knows?



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