One of the best things about street art in the digital age is its ability to disseminate throughout the world. Pieces are no longer confined to simply the city, or even the single canvas, on which they were created. The thought, the image, can be spread around the world at the speed of light, depending on your internet service provider, and shared with people around the world. It has given many artists a new platform in which to share their art and build careers. Even the extremely aloof Banksy has managed to use the internet to draw awareness, build his (or her, or their?) portfolio, and make a substantial amount of money, something which wasn’t even possible even just a short decade ago.
Of course, the shift to digital has also brought with it another aspect of street art: appreciation and community building. Each of these are an essential part of street art as a whole, and the internet has allowed the fast-spreading images of the world’s street art to meet the eyes of rabid fans and suave critics, all of whom express their love of the art form, in all its many iterations, in their own ways. One such way is by Steven P. Harrington, Jaime Rojo, and their fellow writers, artists, and photographers at Brooklyn Street Art.
The website, originally a way to catalogue and discuss Brooklyn’s diverse and wonderfully elaborate world of street art, murals, and more, the site has expanded to include the world over, and does an amazing job of not only connecting art to fans, but artists to the public, and work to admirers all over the world. The site features interviews, criticism, a beautiful range of photography, and more, all designed to showcase the many artists in the world, and the good work they’re doing in their hometowns and around the globe.
But Brooklyn Street Art, lovingly referred to as “BSA,” is more than just a hype machine, it’s also interested in pop culture’s place in street art, and the inverse, and frequently publishes articles focusing on how the many different mediums interact with each other. As trends develop in the street,” Harrington writes on the site, “We watch to see how they affect popular culture and the rest of the art world.”
And BSA isn’t focused on simply graffiti, or even street art that’s on the actual street. The site also explores different forms of street art. Or, as they put it: “New hybrids, new techniques, and new mediums are expanding the definition of public art, street art, graffiti, and urban art.” By considering more than just graffiti, the site is able to keep up with the changing face of public art as a whole.
What BSA proves is that street art can and does benefit from a critical discourse and enthusiastic fanbase, one that’s both passionate and intelligent. It helps not only the artists, but the entire community bond, build, and create.