Street Art: Element of Urban Living

It’s wonderful to be able to start the day with a something to look forward to each day. Living in a condo for rent in Makati is exciting because the streets of the city are decorated with multiple installations, centerpieces, and architectural aesthetic. A few block from Makati is Taguig, where great masterpieces from local artists are scattered throughout the city.

The local street art varies from luxurious murals to spray painted comic-like characters that shadow the country’s history and culture. Gone are the days when graffiti was a form of vandalism. Artists are now encouraged to paint the town red (literally) to bring life and color to the flat concrete and neutral palette of the city.

Transforming the city

Public spaces are a perfect canvas for showcasing the local art scene.

Empty lots, transport stations, trash bins, park benches, and even trees are adorned using different styles art. All of these things are accessible to the public, and it can be seen by anyone who passes or lingers. Applying the designs on places open to everyone makes it easier to spread information and awareness. Artists can express their voices and ideas through their work.

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The Guerilla painted this mural to show their support to the Lumad community when they came to Manila.

Sometimes, the works of art depict the repressed and unheard voices and struggles of the artistic community as well as those groups nearby. The artwork can also be a propaganda of historical and societal issues. Other times, there are works of art that just want to make people think. Gerilya, a group of Fine Arts graduates, turned street artists, shares this; “it feels better as an artist for your art to be of use to someone rather than for your art to just look cool but with no substance.”

The group categorized its artworks into three types: Kultura, Kasaysayan at Kasarinlan. Kultura is cultural pieces which celebrate Filipino traditions, values and way of life. Kasaysayan is artworks inspired by historical events. It features heroes and notable sightings of Philippine history. Kasarinlan is socio-political artworks that target common national issues.

“Whenever we support an issue through our art, we find a reason to do it. If it compels us enough to do a piece about it, then so be it. So most of the time, we only do issue-based work that concerns us, and that also affects us.”

One example is the artwork they constructed on Budget Cut for Education sector when they were still students. Election-themed works were also popular during the Election Period. Still, Gerilya is open to collaboration with groups and sectors of the society that needs representation. The team recently extended their help to the Lumad community for the Manilakbayan March. They believe in the cause, so they dedicated their time on a mural even if they are not members of the tribe.

The pictures and visuals can be powerful weapons that can be used to guide the unfaltering attention of the masses from mainstream media to sensitive and serious subjects in the community.

Art adds beauty and value to the dark and somber structures of the city.

The combination of colors and prints is delightful to the eye. It breaks the monotony of urban life with the awe-inspiring lines, curves, and patterns. The art piece allows the city to breathe. The culture and the individuality of the place take center stage as artists highlight note-worthy [and random] spots with their work.

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BGC breaks the monotony of the city by inviting local artists to showcase their talent through street art.

Bonifacio Global City (BGC) is one of the country’s highly-urbanized cities that redefined its structure based on sustainable living. BGC’s Art Mural Festival by Bonifacio Art Foundation, Inc. expounded along with the area’s development. The design started with empty lots but was soon filled up. Art can now be seen on the city’s trash cans, transformer vaults, trees, and sidewalks. BGC is slowly transitioning to a full-scale art piece that inspired local artists to come out of their shells and share the beauty of their creations to the public.

Benefits of the craft

Producing and creating artwork, regardless of the medium, is therapeutic to both the artist and the audience.

For artists, it is an outlet of stored energy and emotions. The pent up creative energy is spread to the environment, especially to the people. The viewers of the artistry get inspired while the creative juices of the artists are renewed.

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Making art allows the artists and children an outlet to release their creative energy and inner turmoil.

The images also cast a sense of peace to the artist and audience. Art encourages the creation of tangible products, which helps people who are not able to articulate their precise thoughts convey them to others. Victims of abuse find it difficult to communicate the sensations, emotions or perceptions because of what they went through. Employing the artistic side is a way of “voicing” specific memories or feeling without having to talk.

Art is also a sensory-based approach which allows children to experience themselves and communicate on multiple levels (visual, tactile, kinesthetic and others).

Street art is part of the urban life and has evolved in sync with the new workings of the society. Art is functional to the city when viewed as a ‘weapon’ or medium of communication. It also establishes the community’s identity through the colorful personalities encapsulated in the imagery. Lastly, art is essential to human nature. The process of creating an aesthetic is a cure for the anxiety and stress of past issues. A city filled with the wonders of art gives condo living a unique and distinct experience.

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