Beyond the Streets


About this Section

Artists often create art as a response to social and political issues, purposely challenging and questioning the powers that be rather than representing or just attacking them. Whether a scrawl in a prison yard or a poster plastering the streets, activist art shines a light in the dark or puts a twisted spin on the familiar as a way of sending a message, making unapologetic statements that ultimately resonate with an audience. The least of its hopes are inspiration; the best of it serves as a call for direct action. Activist art often finds its home on the streets, as the streets are the most direct place to reach an audience. The artists represented here have a long history of advertising their message on streets throughout the world.

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