Street art is not a new concept, it has been making headlines and stirring up heated debate for years and will continue to do so, as it adapts to the world around it. A movement, no matter how big or small, starts with one’s idealism, energy and endless pursuits to share a concept with the goal of achieving change.
Within ten words, the Whistler street artist known as Dork on the other end of the line mentioned anonymity.
Creekside's quaint Southside Diner is in for a unique art exhibit as Dork will be showcasing a selection of his work there this Thursday (Jan. 24) at 8 p.m. The mysterious artists said flowers will be his theme for the art show.
"Choosing the imagery wasn't hard, I wanted something that had worldwide accessibility with staying power" said Dork, aviators donned speaking over Thor blaring out of his speakers. "Street artists especially need an image that is iconic to them, a rose will appeal to the masses, no matter where it is seen, it will bring themes of hope, peace and love."
When asked why these artists don't display there work in galleries Dork said: "Well just look at Whistler, your only options include limited cafés, bars or Millennium Place, where they only host solo shows and obtaining a premiere spot is nearly impossible."
Equipped with spray cans, stickers, ladders or any other means capable of portraying messages including; idealisms, fascism, capitalism, anarchism, existentialism, boredom, creation, alienation, greed, hypocrisy, poverty and even just plain absurdity, these artists look forward to spreading their visions.
As darkness falls upon their canvases they are prepared for long hours, numb hands and high stakes. These artists have an obligation to the people, their message must be delivered, but they will forever be a muse; the streets will do the talking. Creeping above the horizon the sun will soon uncover another report on the previous night’s happenings, still struggling to blend in with their disparate surroundings.
Dork, like others before, is not out seeking fame, praise or money. The rush, passion, and gratification of a creation that reaches out to citizens is enough to keep the voices of the street content.
"I believe that many talented artists actually had no other choice to showcase their art anywhere but the streets," he said.
Dork believes that this dates back to the 1920s particularly in New York where street art became popularized in the subways.
“The over flux of artists and lack of accessibility to gallery spaces likely pushed artists to 'rebel' in a sense and take there art to the street," he said.
Though it has its niche, there are still many grey areas and the art is illegal in most zones, hence Dork’s anonymity. That must be why these faceless artists choose to let creaking freight trains, dark alleyways and looming overpasses carry the burdensome weight of this form of artistry.
Craftsmanship with the capability of mocking centralized power, or among various intents, capacity to remove ownership, authority and glory from a greater better-equipped "enemy," is best left without personal ties. Even work that provides a moment of inspiration or a reason to turn your eyes to a cold grey barrier on a bleak day as the whirlwind of commercialism looms nearby.
Dork mentioned several artists that changed the way street art was viewed including Banksy but in particular Shepard Fairey, who created the skate style brand OBEY and the Barack Obama HOPE poster campaign.
"I ask people wearing OBEY clothing whether they like Fairey or not and most have no idea who he is, that's why I like the rose, whether or not you know where it came from, anyone can relate to it,” he said.
Even though a street artist may be able to make their mark many more times in the street, Dork chose Southside Diner for a reason.
"Even though an artist can tag the street 50-100 times in a day, I wanted to validate the street by putting it in a gallery setting. With my work I want anyone to see it and be able to relate,” he said. “That's why the rose was an important image, no matter if it's tweaked by the artist it still will be an iconic image."