Arte di strada o arte urbana (in inglese “street art”) è il nome dato dai mezzi di comunicazione di massa a quelle forme di arte che si manifestino in luoghi pubblici, spesso illegalmente, nelle tecniche più disparate: bombolette spray, adesivi artistici, arte normografica, proiezioni video, sculture ecc. La sostanziale differenza tra l’arte di strada e i graffiti si riscontra nella tecnica non per forza vincolata all’uso di vernice spray e al soggetto non obbligatoriamente legato allo studio della lettera, mentre il punto di incontro che spesso fa omologare le due discipline rimane il luogo e alle volte alcune modalità di esecuzione, oltre all’origine mediatica della terminologia (originariamente nota come graffitismo o writing). L’arte urbana non è da confondere con i graffiti perché, questi ultimi, sono una sorta di “sotto categoria di quest’ultima”: infatti, mentre i graffiti sono incetrati solo sull’espressione nella lettera, l’arte urbana trova come espressione soprattutto suggetti umani o animali accompagnati da slogan.
Ogni artista che pratica l’arte di strada ha le proprie motivazioni personali, che possono essere molto varie. Alcuni la praticano come forma di critica o come tentativo di abolire la proprietà privata, rivendicando le strade e le piazze; molto frequentemente, nell’arte di strada, si fa una contestazione contro la società o contro la politica. Altri più semplicemente vedono le città come un posto in cui poter esporre L’arte di strada offre infatti la possibilità di avere un pubblico vastissimo, spesso molto maggiore di quello di una tradizionale galleria d’arte.
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