It’s time to unveil some of the best street art of the 2013! A lot is always being said about the notorious Banksy. In 2013, his month long show in New York City, “Better Out Than In,” ranked as one of the best shows in the world. Peep below a video of one of his pieces that got many people talking:
Even though Banksy is undeniably an innovator and a marketing visionary, it’s time to move the spotlight onto other international street artists who deserve as much recognition as the stencil-artist, if not even more. Take a look at the X artists below. They all have contrasting styles and represent the creme of the crop of street art. Let us know in the comments which are your favorite works from throughout the year.
Felice Varini is a Swiss artist, famous for his geometric perspective-localized paintings in various architectural spaces. He understands the complexity of simple shapes and exploration from one vantage point. From the right angle, the whole piece fuses its parts together in harmony, but from certain other angles, the viewer will see a shattered image that proves interesting as well. “My concern,” he says “is what happens outside the vantage point of view.” It is there, perhaps, that his work truly becomes its own animal. You shouldn’t try viewing it as a series of geometrical spaces, but as some beast who has a life of its own. He told Poetic Mind:
“Once the painting is done it starts an independent life, having a relationship with the space, which has nothing to do with me or the viewer. It is a direct relation that the painting has with the space, in a kind of an abstract reality.”
To see more of his work go: here.
This year, Suso33 produced some of his strongest work. Earlier this month, he layed his spray paint on the walls of Madrid, Spain to create a large mural, composed of soft, ghostly figures colliding with their own shadows. Viewed at large, you will notice that the piece composes one large figure. The artist is a precursor of iconographic graffiti and typically enjoys experimenting with language. He views the public space is “his domain to express what is essential in order to communicate” as an artist to his audience.
Federico Massa‘s most impressive work of the year was commissioned for a cinema wall. The owners of the cinema asked the Italian street artist, based in New York, to include superheroes in his project. The artist decided to follow orders but, of course, added his own twist to the request.
“I tried to maintain my own [original] vision by changing the costumes. I tried making the composition as weird as I could.”
By switching the characters’ costumes, the Federico, who paints under the alias Cruz makes a commentary on super-heroes and their inter-changeable roles, their often bland, product-like reasons for being. Perhaps most notably, Batman and Superman are victim of a direct switch here. Knowing that these two superheroes were the protagonists of two sequels in the past year, it seems more than likely that this piece, painted for a cinema and depicting characters within a theater room, is a harsh commentary on the more repetitive, commercial aspects of the movie industry. This piece is quite a departure from Massa’s traditional pieces, but if you look closer, you will find one of his original characters making an appearance (see above.) “That’s my real signature!” he says.
This Pink Panther marked the Parisian street artists’ 1039th invasion in his native city. Invader has been cementing his place in the street art world with mosaics since 1998. His medium resists the test of time which is one of the greatest challenges of street art. Inspired by the 1978 arcade game Space Invaders, he brings subtle color and youth to our streets. Look out for him.
This politically minded member of the Army of Snipers crew completed the large scale piece (above) in Nevada, Las Vegas. His work conveys a strong feeling of anger with a touch of insanity. His name,“Angry Woebots,” came as a reaction to our society reducing us to a “robotic” state. It’s more than just a name, it’s Aaron Martin’s concept behind his art. Moving away from home, Martin brought with him his paint: white, black and a bucket of random small tubes of color. With a limited amount of color, Angry Woebots adapted himself:
“I was supposed to paint a grizzly bear, and I was like, whatever, I’ll paint a panda bear.”
“This is the first of a series of creation myths I plan to paint on some big walls. It’s based on some ideas I’m working with for my next book. This is the first of a series of creation myths I plan to paint on some big walls.”
The British artist works as an illustrator and muralist to create mystical pieces. His murals have a sketch-like quality and easiness to them. The contrast between the roughness of his canvas–for instance, brick–and the softness of his lines creates an equilibrium between reality and fantasy.
Blu is an Italian street artist. His most impressive piece of the year was spotted in Bologna. Inspired by Lord Of The Rings, Blu incorporates a number of topics, from Star Wars to Sauron as Berlusconi. This piece is part of the Italian political project: XM24. The project has a space in Bologna and is dedicated to support peace movements, vegetarianism and anti-fascism. His use of colors is subtle and mimics the style of water colors. It’s worth spending some time looking at.
The DaVinci of The Streets is one of the strongest street artist out there. Some of our favorite work of his is a small series of animals painted in spotted in Panama City. There, he began experimenting with incorporating colorful geometrical shapes in his work.
“I am always very pleased if people get their own interpretation of it. If it can be engaging enough to let people look into those animals and inspire them to be creative, or to get involved with our globe, or just take a look at it, then I am very happy.”
Throughout the year, he continued experimenting with animals and slowly depriving them of life. The piece above of a decomposing coyote was painted on the side of the Pandemic Gallery in the Navy Yard section of Brooklyn. The animal is composed of ROA’s traditional monochromatic style but he incorporated a scarlet red for the animal’s organs.
You might also like
More from Art
Please join XXL veteran journalists and contributors on May 9, 2023 — Sheena Lester, Datwon Thomas, Bonsu Thompson, Larry Hester, …
"We just shot a series of images at Pan Pacific Park. And obviously one of the images that I wanted …