In the United States, “Art Crimes” are usually considered an urban problem. Sometimes they are just crudely scrawled words and symbols on a wall. Individuals, street gangs, and other groups write some of these. There are even some traditional places where a group like a graduating high school class updates the graffiti each year with a new message to a community. In some cases the tradition is so old that today’s students are painting graffiti in the same place that their parents and grandparents painted years before them. Much of this graffiti uses words and images to get the message across. In other places, the graffiti is beautiful works of art. There are web sites and organizations dedicated to bringing this art to greater public awareness. . Communities usually discourage people from creating graffiti art. But some towns and cities now provide places where these artists are encouraged to paint so this art can be enjoyed by everyone. By doing this, unsightly building can become part of an urban art landscape, and the artists can be recognized instead of arrested for using their talents.
Commercial art is another inescapable part of American life. Images of models, iconic symbols and other art are in constant competition to capture our attention. Each of these images is trying to sell a product or get across a message. Sometimes the art image is so powerful it is hard to understand exactly what is for sale; other times there are subliminal, or blatant sexual messages attached. Calvin Kline is one advertiser who has been raising controversy for his advertising images since the 1980s. His company has put up many advertisements that some people found offensive. In some cases, the local or national governments stepped in and made the company take them down. . Other ads use beautiful pictures and brilliant colors to get the attention of prospective customers. Because they enjoy looking at the ad, the potential buyers also learn about the product. Travel companies often use photographs of beautiful places to make people want to travel there.
The United States also has many public works of art. It is all over, statutes in part, decorative work on the outside of buildings and murals inside buildings. During the “Great Depression”, the United States government commissioned hundreds of artists to create work for public places. By doing this, they were able to put people to work, and got the benefit of having the artwork on display for the whole country to enjoy. Many of these artworks are still up today and when you walk into a government building, you can stop and enjoy them. This art in particular affects and inspires me because it shows how much America values its artists.
Art Crimes and the Artists. "Art Crimes; The Writing on the Wall." February/March 2012. Art Crimes and the Artists. 3 4 2012
CBS New York. "Calvin Klein Billboard3 Getting Attention in Lower Manhattan." 28 3 2011. CBS New York. 2 4 2012
Poturalski, Hannah. "New life for Depression-era murals." 8 3 2011. The Oxford Press. 2 4 2012