This new mural was painted a couple of days ago by German artist and graphic designer SatOne during a short stay in Frankfurt, Germany.
Titled “Conservation”, the new piece addresses an interesting issue concerning the documentation of graffiti and urban art. We all know that this kind of works don’t last long and it is this characteristic ephemerality which makes it interesting.
As professor Martin Irvine from Georgetown University mentions in an article published in “The Handbook of Visual Culture”, street art is nowadays “a paradigm of hybridity in global visual culture” a kind of unclassifiable genre that is defined more by real-time practice than by any unified theory, movement or message.
The movement, which is not only both local and global but also intentionally ephemeral is now being documented almost obsessively with good help of digital photography for the Web making possible a constant appropriation and remix of imagery, styles and techniques from all possible sources.
In the same article makes professor Irvine an important reflection on the fact that the proliferation of websites and popular media coverage has not only made most street artists aware of the importance of being seen on a global stage, but also made them actively contribute to create this global Web museum by documenting their work digitally as it is executed. The interest shown by the art world in the last years has been overwhelming and reflects that tendency with street and urban art being embraced by established and renowned galleries and museums all around the world.
SatOne explains his piece as follows:
Many works created in public spaces have a temporary survival. Paintings get destroyed, painted over or simply buffed.
Whilst years ago its documentation found place in private photo collections or books, the idea of “conservation” has become more important, spreading through different media where publications, internet (including blogs, forums and websites), collectors, galleries and museums play an essential role.
Like we can see in this new mural, the image implies this transition from street piece to documented and preserved piece in the form of photographs, exhibitions, blogs, etc… The picture, the artwork, has being removed from the wall and being placed somewhere else going in this way from being purely local (the street) to be part of the global community (like this blog). What can I say, clever and interesting.