“There is no way you’re going to get a quote from us to use on your book cover”
Metropolitan Police spokesperson regarding Banksy “Wall and Piece” book, 2006
Very controversial yet subversive, street art tends to challenge art itself by situating it in non-art contexts. First known as political or social slogans graffitied onto public walls, street art now still include graffitis, but also street sculptures and installations, LED art and guerilla happening just to name a few of them. The street is not only the best way for a street artist to reach its public, but also to start conversing with it.
When some street artists use “smart vandalism” to raise awareness on a particular issue, others see urban spaces as a privileged location to express themselves and be heard. Finally, street is a cheaper canvas for people who cannot afford buying material, allowing art to be accessible for everybody. Legal definitions may consider that street art is a form of vandalism and it is still prohibited to make graffitis is some cities. Regardless this controversial vision of street art – some people see it as a crime, others consider it as art – , marketing professionals have been starting using methods inspired from it. Called “guerilla marketing”, these methods promote a brand in public areas, taking advantage from the fact that there is almost no competitors using this canvas.
Banksy, Ramallah Checkpoint, 2005
Banksy, Marble Arch, London, 2004
You and Me, Zhang Zhaohui, Dashanzi Art District, 18 April 2013
Mini Countryman snowball located in front of Macy’s, December 2010
Mini Countryman, guerilla marketing campaing held during the 2010 Geneva International Motor Show