The Musealization of Street Art: Changing Space, Shifting Perception

Abstract

     Since the early 1990s, Street Art has emerged in America, Europe, and Asia in a truly vivid way. While originally making a scene in urban centers through wall murals, posters, stickers, street installations, and stencil art, now, street artists are invited into the museum space. Through the comparison of Street Art in its urban context with that same art in a formal setting, this thesis will examine the process that Street Art has gone through to be musealized, as well as how this process changes the way that the artist and their art is perceived. To do so, the works of six artists, Shepard Fairey, Banksy, Invader, JR, Blu, and Clet Abraham will be analyzed, both in their original context, the street, and in the museum setting. The paper will conclude with a discussion of the Italian concept of the Museo Diffuso as a way to formally display Street Art.

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