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"Graffiti Lips" Canvas Art by IKONICK.
Spray paint on a wall. It's a simple recipe for a potent reaction.
To some it's criminal vandalism, to others it's a beautiful expression of individualism amidst a city conformed. Its meaning is completely up to the viewer.
Public art, by nature, doesn't hide. The pieces are painted for all to see, turning buildings into canvases and cities into galleries. Call it confidence or arrogance, the artists want their work to be seen by everyone.
The message is elevated by the media itself. It's their mark left on the city—their lipstick kiss on the collar. Proof that they were there.
But everyone has different tastes. Just like the mixed reactions from their urban audience, the artists themselves have different motivations for putting paint to the public. "Graffiti," the original art form, is more of a signature. Word-based and typically marking the person who created it, it is a symbol of individualism. "Street art" on the other hand, is for the viewer's pleasure. Image-based and commissioned with permission, it is more of a mural for the masses than someone's own personal tag.
Street art tends to be more appealing to the mainstream. The picture or scene displayed is a lot easier to relate to than a graffiti tag that must first be deciphered. But there is something beautifully rebellious about leaving your unique mark for you and no one else.
It's all about different tastes. Artists either create for others (street art) or for themselves (graffiti). And with all due respect for the muralists, we have to give it up to the graffiti writers.
If life and in art, there is value in doing something for you alone. That's the only time you're truly creating what's in your heart. It's not for the likes or the views, it's just the pure expression of taking an idea that's yours and putting it out there for the world to see—no matter how they might react.
"Graffiti Lips" original canvas wall artwork from IKONICK is your reminder to live with the unapologetic individualism of a graffiti writer. Whatever your art is, don't create for an audience—do it for you. That's how you truly leave your mark.