Urban Artists You Should Pay More Attention To
Whether you are a fan or not, you cannot deny the popularity of street art nowadays. Where a significant chunk of contemporary art remains confined to tents or white cubes, street art could not be more accessible. It is almost impossible to ignore this genre, especially in a country like the United States, which has become fertile ground for artistic expressions with its multitude of cultures, races and backgrounds.
While some urban artists are self-taught, others have attained first-rate training in fine arts. Some might have made their way up from tattoo or graffiti art; others took a more direct route to art creation.
Regardless of their origins, these urban artists are highly skilled at what they do and deserve to be acknowledged.
From Brooklyn-based artist Sara Erenthal to Chris Smith from San Diego, here’s a list of artists who are making a strong impact on urban art:
The artist belongs to Brooklyn, but that is about all we know of her identity. She is best known for her unique collages, which are a combination of her own paintings and poster advertisements.
Through her creativity, she ends up creating wacky but alluring amalgamations out of otherwise uninteresting adverts.
She recently contributed her art for the Art Relief for Direct Relief project in Puerto Rico. Her silkscreen prints are available online for less than $250 but are tough to grab since they sell out so quickly.
His grim yet stunning street installations, created using packing tape, have built quite a reputation for Mark Jenkins. The street is Mike’s canvas for creating art that connects with and appeals to people and their surroundings.
His gruesome installations are a fusion of artwork and social experiments. When he is not busy in awestriking the public with his work, Mike is conducting global online art classes, extended masterclasses, and student projects.
The San Diego born and raised artist has a profound connection with nature, which reflects in her graffiti animal paintings. Moreover, a fraction of Kenda’s proceeds go to the ‘Lion Tigers and Bears’ sanctuary situated in Alpine.
Also, her most recent projects will raise funds for a Brazilian jaguar preservation project. One of her works, “Juma”, was inspired from a 2016 news story, when a jaguar was shot and killed by a Brazilian soldier.
Mike is a Rebel8 fashion designer, tattooist, graffiti artist, and an avid illustrator hailing from San Francisco. Famous for his distinctive, attention-grabbing street art, Mike’s monochromatic illustrations, heavily inspired by Japanese paintings and Mexican folk, can be found on paper, walls, and even skin.
What makes his work instantly recognizable is the use of contradictory analogies and metaphors, resulting in absorbing Catholic art, such as a tattooed Madonna praying, brand images, or skateboard icons.
Another Brooklyn-based artist on our list, Sara Erenthal, is famous for her unique self-portraits, ripe with prominent lips and lines. Sara’s versatility is evident by the fact that her art can be seen on surfaces, such as cardboard boxes, abandoned furniture, curb mattresses, and even trash cans.
If you belong to or frequently visit Brooklyn, it is highly likely that you have already come across some of Sara’s work.
A Mexico City native, Gloria was raised in Mexicali and is currently a resident of San Diego. She is a trained muralist and fine artist, earning her degree in graphic designing from the Universidad Iberoamericana. Her work revolves around the four elements of Mother Earth and is often inspired by her love for the divine feminine. Being a mother to an autistic daughter, Gloria knows and appreciates what it means to be beautiful and innocent. She has plenty of murals and collaborations to her name, and most of her work can be found in San Diego. She has partnered with several nonprofits, corporations, and city departments.
Maxx Moses has deep love and affection for his mom, as well as tremendous respect for every mother around the world. This love and respect is evident through one of his most popular Murals in South Park, San Diego. Maxx has partnered with the Urban Collaborative Project in a quest to provide opportunities to the creative geniuses of South San Diego. Maxx also works as a teacher and art educator with an aim to bring out the artist in every human being.
Chris Smith a.k.a Hooligan
Hailing from San Diego, Chris Smith is a visual artist born in Bend, Oregon. Chris believes that a work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity, and many of his works are based on or inspired from his life experiences. He has always been passionate about art, and he considers it to be a necessity rather than a luxury. To quote himself, “If I were the last person on Earth, I would still paint everyday”.
The Last Word
Street art matters and for good reason. Not only does it breathe life into the mundane walls of a city, but it also conveys important social messages in a way that makes it hard for people to ignore. Therefore, we need to recognize our urban artists, such as the ones mentioned above, and the purposes that their works serve.
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