Street art has immensely evolved within the past decade. With the popularity of artists like Shepard Fairey and Banksy propelling the boisterous craft from impoverished streets and into prestigious galleries, the movement has successfully transitioned into the world of interior design.
Graffiti was born in the late 1960s as a form of expression by gang members claiming their respective territories and political activists passionately voicing their opinions against the system, the medium was thoroughly developed by the mid-70’s in the Big Apple as a significant part of the counter-culture and hip-hop movement which had taken place throughout such tumultuous and revolutionary times. The 1980’s through early 2000’s represents the shift from just tagging and getting your name out there to more art oriented pieces and murals, powerful and though-provoking images both abstract and life-like. Especially with the expedient use of stencils and stickers, pieces could be prepared ahead of time which makes the creation process much quicker and less risky. What was once looked at as a signal of a bad neighborhood is now considered as valuable. Yet, what continually remains is the profound, compelling message which the work emphasizes.
What street art offers the world of interior design is an edgy provocation that’s concealed in eye-catching, vivid imagery. The representation of street art derives from it’s grassroots activism and colorful history which stirs the senses in a dynamic way.
In Hong Kong, BIBO restaurant not only dishes out an exquisite french cuisine, but the place is immersed in street art. Aside from serving their diners the complete appreciation of the art, it coincides as an art studio for artists worldwide.
“BIBO is a space that I had never seen before; I wanted to see it but couldn’t find it anywhere. It’s a vision that passion has brought to reality,” stated BIBO, the project’s mysterious coordinator in an article on Designboom.com. “At the core of the project is an artistic concept. I invited street artists from around the world to create installations directly on the walls, even before the design was finalized. Alcoves, doors, walls, ceilings have been used by the street artists as surfaces to express themselves. We wanted things to look slightly unfinished, but in an organic way. It makes the artists feel more at home. Hence the idea of a squat.”
The authenticity is remarkably accurate, to the point where the structure’s fittings include brass pipes which resemble subway ventilation systems, light fixtures and toilet roll holders designed like traffic lights. installations decorated on the walls are accompanied by hangings from a plethora of renowned street artists who are at the top of the game. Creative design agency, Substance, has done a masterful job turning the art into an experience.
Even luxurious hotels have gotten into the mix, giving guests an up-close and intimate experience with street art. The Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel has their “Room With A View” series, where each of the four rooms (out of 267 total in the hotel) strikingly depicts East London’s past, present, and/or future by contemporary artists Chris Price, Patrick Vale & Paul Davis, ILoveDust, and Patrick Morgan.
The Baltazar Hotel in Budapest is an eleven room establishment dedicated to modern art, with each room inspired by style icons like Andy Warhol and Vivienne Westwood. In relation to street art, Keith Haring designed a room where two figures hold up a glowing heart over the bed.
One of the most impressive and extensive collections of interior street art belongs to Hotel Des Arts,
located in the heart of San Francisco’s French Quarter, where 38 of their 51 guest rooms are encompassed and enveloped incredible street art murals, as if you were spending the night in an art gallery. Notable street artists include Buff Monster, MATSU-MTP and MISK, Shepard Fairey, David Choe, Sam Flores, and Chor Boogie.
Being surrounded enhances the service provided by establishments, gaining and feeling an in-depth appreciation and understanding for the art. An added appeal which stimulates visually and arouses the mind. The collaboration between design firms and street artists has created charismatic and influential approach to “beautification” and perhaps another way to telling a historic story. But aside from enhancing the dining and hospitality experience, street art’s presence in interior design is used as inspiration and the key to unlocking creativity in the business/technology world.
Spotify design manager, Merv Garretson hired Redboy (a New York based photographer and DJ) to assemble an acclaimed group of local street artists to embellish the Spotify NYC Office with invigorating art.
“The initial idea was to get the street flavor (of the city). It’s a way to give the office geographic relevance, but also have some fun with non-traditional art. So many offices get caught up in bad stock photography,” stated Merv Garretson via PC World.
On the walls of their break room, a massive 60′ mural of a deconstructed Spider-Man by Kostas Seremetis.
The ASVP collective did a wall for each of Spotify’s 24 conference room, where they’re individually themed after a famous US music venue, centering each piece around that specific club’s recognizable, symbolic images of their respective hay-day. From Old school wheatpaste artist WK to up-and-coming street artist ChrisRWK with his playfully ghoulish, white-eyed characters, the effort to motivate and inspire their employees is magnificent.
The truth of the matter is Google, Facebook, Twitter (UK), Adobe, and many other heavy hitters in the industry have illustrated their core ethos with spray paint and stencils. Reaching out to art consultants is how in fact many of these commercial entities are indentifying artists and securing the commisioned work. The intentional tactic behind such design evokes each company’s spirit behind uplifting creativity, successfully executed by talented street artists to breath life to the name.
– Art Nerd