Guerilla art

December 15, 2007


For anyone who doesn’t know what ‘Guerilla art’ is, here is how it is defined in Keri Smith’s new book:

‘The stereotype of the guerilla artist is someone who makes extremist work and who is constantly on the run from the law. For the purposes of this book I would like to expand on this concept and define guerilla art as any anonymous work(including but not limited to graffiti, signage, performance, additions, and decoration) installed, performed, or attached in public spaces, with the distinct purpose of affecting the world in a creative or thought-provoking way.

Keri is one of those rare people who has her finger on the pulse of new things happening for a whole generation or era, perhaps even before they happen! It is the same reason why some artists get very famous and popular, they tap into something that is in the unconscious of a whole society or part of society and show people what they are thinking or where the society is headed. I think Keri has this quality, she is tuned into something essential that wants to happen, and she accumulates many of the voices on that theme and weaves them into a coherent statement.  Plus she is an artist herself.

What excites me about guerilla art is that is is a direct challenge to the established artworld.  I think for years many artists were trying to be rebels, but the system simply absorbed those getures and turned them into consumer items.  Guerilla art and associated activities take place outside the art world, are done mostly anonymously, and have nothing to do at all with money. 

Growth and revolution almost always take place in the margins of society. This is one very good argument for resisting the ‘corporatization’ of art.  I love the thought of  little sparks of thought-provoking creativity appearing on the streets, in empty lots, in railway stations and airports, in  public places everywhere.  Go to keri’s blog, and do something revolutionary, buy the book!  

2 Responses to “Guerilla art”

  1. Keri Smith’s blog was one of the first I started reading regularly, but I haven’t been back in a long while. I will go check it out today…

  2. madsilence Says:

    Hi Sarah. Thanks for the link to Keri Smith. An inspiring artist. I’m not a fan of “political” art (see http://madsilence.wordpress.com/2007/05/03/horror-on-the-national-mall-thousands-of-women-locked-in-basements-of-dc-museums/) yet find Smith’s story enlightening. I may just have to buy the book!

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