From street art to canvas. For some, the first leap into the arts was in a classroom. Or maybe he was sitting at a kitchen table at the suggestion of artistically inclined parents. For the artist, Jamie O’Neill, the most effective art class began on the street. His canvas was not made of linen but walls, subway cars and tunnels, abandoned wagons, and freight cars when he started. To understand this artist’s work, you must first look at the art of outsiders, which many people call simple graffiti. But art created on the street has a narrow circle of supporting artists, rivalry, and competence, just like traditional art culture.
Understand street art
Graffiti can be divided into two genres. The first is street art, made up of stencils, paintings, and stickers. The second is lettering, also known as graffiti writing. At one end of the spectrum, letters can consist of a simple word thrown with a marker to denote a gang’s territory. At the other end is the finely coordinated, stylized, and unmistakable lettering that can be recognized by all street artists and serves the best of the best. Graffiti lettering has a rich past, recognizable thoughts, and masterful artists aspiring writers highly value.
Numerous graffiti artists have moved into the mainstream art world. They show their art – now painted on canvas – on gallery walls and not on the streets. And college art classes incorporate their works into curricula, while books and documentaries explore the meaning of art. O’Neill is one of those artists who switched to the canvas after years of creating eye-catching letters on the streets.
Learn to write
As O’Neill drives around Boston in the back seat of his parent’s car, O’Neill’s earliest graffiti memorial sees letters written on an old incinerator. And so, I was less involved in producing art and thinking more about my street name. Years later, at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, I found graffiti magazines that used sprays to create paint. This spray paint art was different from the art O’Neill saw in museums in his youth, studying the works of the Old Masters – all of which seemed so out of reach to him. But spray paint? It was something he could do. For me, graffiti is a form of self-expression, composition training, and mastering your craft.
His infatuation with the spray paint blossomed quickly. He began to copy the masters of this craft in notebooks and rewrite their works repeatedly. During his studies, he also took a course that was held off-campus in the city. This avenue and the surrounding town were ultimately the sparks to ignite their flame in graffiti art. And although he didn’t know a graffiti writer at the time, he went out at night to write letters on the street.
When he eventually met other writers, they were not very impressed with O’Neill’s skills. They said I had a heart, but I was terrible but noted that other artists were impressed with the places he was painting. He continues, some of these children had artistic skills, the adults taught them, but they couldn’t spray them on the wall. I could write on the wall, but I just needed creative guidance we pushed each other with graffiti, and then together, we moved on to gallery art, more mainstream art.
Initiate the shift to the mainstream
Soon O’Neill saw graffiti everywhere, not just on the street or when he was writing at night. From her son’s toys to graffiti on clothes, this art form quickly reached the mainstream. But why? The internet has changed graffiti art. In the past, art could be identified by its geography; every city had its aspect. Now artists are creating art and instantly posting it on social media for everyone to see. And this immediate global spread blurs the lines. The original design is a combination or a mixed conglomerate of all styles and forms. Styles and accents are dying out. Contemporary artists look at their phones to see the newest or most interesting design elements and use them. When I started writing, we took the train to see the art we lived in, and then we developed our handwriting from those experiences.
It wasn’t the only change for O’Neill. Around this time, he began to switch from graffiti artist to acrylic painter and lotus flower drawing artist. I wanted to do this huge street job to make my own name while working on a traditional career, and it all ended with the birth of my son. I thought, ‘I can’t go out like this in the evening if I take these risks. There is a new responsibility now and I want to be there, not doing community service or staying out all night. It’s not just my life anymore, it’s someone else’s too. And thanks to the g. It’s the popularity of graffiti art, respected graffiti artists began to distinguish themselves in the spectrum of the visual arts and exhibit their work in galleries. O’Neill decided to take the plunge too.
Graffiti from writing to acrylic painting
The transition from the train to the screen took getting used to, of course. However, some shades are large enough to use the magazine rather than just the brushes, providing a more practical graffiti artistic and a little experience for the artist. I don’t long like I used to. The request for me now is to get a position where I’m comfortable with what the graffiti looks like on the painting – it just doesn’t look the same when you paint graffiti on canvas. It’s a lot more interesting when it’s hanging on a wall somewhere. With the transition to the canvas, O’Neill adds, the script’s context is lost: the freight car, the wall, the neighborhood, any adjacent writing. It’s like taking a paragraph out of a book and doing it for yourself. It doesn’t always work.
However, he includes track cars into his art, which assists keep the composition’s work connected and creating a graphic scene. I’ve come full circle and integrated my graffiti in a slightly different way, he says. I try to use graffiti and the photorealistic detail of the work, but I figure more thought to work. Now the characters are a member of the layering. Whether graffiti on city walls or brushstrokes on a train made of acrylic canvas, these works of art can leave a lasting impression on the viewer. Art can be powerful, regardless of form and medium is a wonderful illustration of this.
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