Updated: Sep 12, 2021
What real Urban Art is about? It’s all about anticapitalist socio-political engagement. At least when you’re directly in front of this type of art you should forget about elitism, as street art is a democratic movement open to any nationality, gender, sexuality and socio-political class. Actually, it fights through art for the rights of those who have been excluded for centuries.
"Art is an evolutionary act. The shape of art and its role in society is constantly changing. At no point is art static. There are no rules."- Raymond Salvatore Harmon
Is SAMA following those principles? Street Art Museum Amsterdam uses street art as a tool for socio-political and cultural dialogue between local communities of Nieuw-West Amsterdam, as well as visitors to the region. We are in connection with international professional artists, but also we are supporting the beginners. SAMA is always very thankful for collaborating with all the worldwide artists, that’s why we let them claim their rights and earn money on their own artworks. Mass tourism, mainstream fame and money is not our cup of tea: we’re just about to beautify the neighbourhood and to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants.
Just to explain this concept with one of our anti-capitalist artworks: Hit the floor is an example of the fact that both our artists and team are not interested in money. The street artist E1000 conquered a whole square with his colorful and geometric art which previosly housed a parking lot, an expensive symbol of Amsterdam.
Is every street art museum following this mission? Business is not supposed to be related to art, especially to street art: this branch of art is the complete opposite of self-advertising. Street art organizations should make people happy with the pieces they are collecting and exposing, not take personal and commercial advantage from art. Sadly, a lot of museums do mainstream and self promoting advertisement and a lot of tourists are following that trend.
Real urban art is for all open-minded people who are able to understand the messages that engaged artworks want to convey. To conclude, if the museum is an ICOM association member, it is supposed to follow professional and ethical standards while developing its activities: unluckily, not all the new museums are prepared to follow these instructions.
Due to the new museums’ attitude.. What street art will be in the near future? Will it become the machine of capitalism or will it stick to its traditional principles and win the battle against money?
“I know street art can feel increasingly like the marketing wing of an art career, so I wanted to make some art without the price tag attached. There's no gallery show or book or film. It's pointless. Which hopefully means something.”- Banksy