Sever on street art?

What is Sever trying to say with this piece? Honestly, I am confused. That Twist head in particular looks really well painted, but the actual meaning of the piece is unclear. Is he taking a shot at street art in general? If so, Vandalog readers know that I would be ready to listen and probably even laugh. But I’m just not sure what the joke is, or if Sever is making a joke at all. Maybe I’m an idiot and the meaning of this piece is apparent to everyone but me (maybe even because it’s aimed at bloggers like me), but I have some questions…

Did Sever intend this as a diss to all street art or just contemporary street art, and what does he think of the artists whose logos he included? Does he like them and just dislike the latest street art? Does he dislike all street art? Is this piece is street art itself? Does Sever do street art now too? If so, what does that mean? Is this not a diss about street art at all but rather just a bunch of iconic images mashed up together because such a piece would obviously go viral? Is street art dead?

I’m curious to hear what, if anything, Sever will say about this piece. He is a member of MSK. Some members of MSK have transitioned over the last few years into doing art that looks more and more like street art on an aesthetic level while still retaining their roots in graffiti. Sever has done some of that as well, not just with this piece, but also with these two and probably others. What differentiates members of MSK who are embracing the aesthetics of street art from the Johnny-Come-Lately street artists whom Sever seems to be bemoaning with this piece? Is it that the members of MSK have years of experience with illegal graffiti (they definitely have that experience)? Is it that the members of MSK are more skilled than other artists (they definitely are skilled)?

Pretty much all that I can say for sure is that Sever knows how to paint and knows some icons of street art/character-based graffiti. The rest of what I’ve got right now are questions. Does anyone out there have answers? If so, please leave a comment.

And if you’re looking for some art where street art is the butt of the joke and the joke is a bit more clear, try Lush, mobstr or Katsu.

Photo by Jsinghur

  • Yo

    calm down

  • TenThree

    I think it’s a comment on the fact that a lot of ‘street’ art these days is produced for commercial purposes i.e. artists are producing street work to gain recognition which will lead to gallery shows and the opportunity to sell artwork which some feel goes against the original principal of street art (I personally don’t think this is a bad thing). Perhaps he is suggesting that the ‘true’ original street art spirit is dead due to the commercial art world and the demand for street artists work. Actual art work on the streets therefore only really serving as an advertising tool and to act as publicity for the artist to allow them to sell art. This might explain why he has used some of the more famous artists in his piece to comment on how some people feel these artists have perhaps ‘sold out’ for commercial gain. Whether that is his point of view or whether it is him illustrating the views of others I’m not really sure.

  • Cult Doom

    i think its pretty clear what his message is. almost pathetically clear (from a conceptual art standpoint). street art is dead. thats what his message is. and, i kinda like it. he has a point. moreover, i think that the fact that he stirred up so many conceptual question on your end made the painting a success in itself. maybe the world has taken “street art” a bit too far and are trying too hard to categorize vandalism as some hyper conceptual high art form. contemporary art is boring, hyper conceptual art is boring, street art is boring, vandalism and good ole fashion distruction is fun. i think its safe to say that street art is softening and washing away the grit that graffiti has. that grit is arguably more important then any conceptual idea that may or may not be attached to a painting  in a public place. 

  • I may be wrong, but I think he’s mocking the manner in which so much of street art has become sanitized and commercialized — losing the spirit and soul of first-rate graffiti.

  • Marsell Doochampion

    I don’t think he’s saying that these 6 artists killed street art… I think it’s more of an homage to them as pioneers while admitting that street art is indeed dead.  If you think about it, who are the pall-bearers at any funeral? Close friends and relatives carry the coffin, not the murderer.  It’s just 6 trailblazers seeing off a friend that got raped and killed by millions of amateurs.

  • streetartisdeadblogwashacked

    Cant believe you have managed to write so much and cast so much doubt on a piece that is so obvious in its point RJ, I can only guess that it is because of your personal cultural investment and connections.

    Sever does not need to answer anything to you, or anyone else.

    I really credited you with a bit more understanding of the fundamentals of art, the reason artists paint is because THAT IS THEIR METHOD OF EXPRESSION, the very fact that you are demanding further explanation implies that the aesthetic fact of the work itself is not enough on it’s own.

    Ever heard the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’?

    How can you be so arrogant and blind to think that an artist creating a work that doesnt sit with your own cosy, biased fanboy/business relationship with these entities has to answer to anyone???

    It’s perfectly obvious to anyone with the most basic functioning cognition (and awareness of the current dire situation in art) what its about and who it is directed at, and what it means , the Double Dutch above is the written equivalent of someone with their fingers in their ears when someone is presenting a fact you don’t like and you going LA LA LA LA LA to drown out the truth.

    Are you writing the this piece from Egypt mate cos you are in De Nile….

    Its all part of the grieving process though but you’re still young, get those blinkers off, move on to fresh pastures and say goodbye to the old world before you get left behind.

  • React

    I wonder about the gaudy suits the 6 icons are wearing. Wether this move was conscious or not it must represent a more corporate sell out theme.

  • Tabloid

    Did Jeff Deitch read the eulogy

  • Gimmekoolaid

    Not dead yet
    Diss or no diss I love street art. Love sever,graffiti, etc even more but it is less practical for some people. Everyone has a different reason for painting graffiti and one point or another each successful street artist has put in countless hours of illegal work before realizing that they’re more motivated. They take their individual Determination to take it up a notch (and maybe make money gotta Eat) It’s guys like Aryz, How & Nosm that step up street art while staying true to there roots. All in all I think it’s easier to hate on someone’s accompaniments than to look at the man in the mirror. I’m sure sever is friends with some of these cats and did a great job in sturring up some commossion from us over thinkers. Great wall. Great scene… Kill the ego peace

  • Everybody criticizes “street” artists for selling out and working in order to land shows and eventually get commissions and ultimately get paid and be able to develop their work without having to work in other jobs… well have any of you ever tried to create work, have a studio in order to work in, and pay for it working a 9 to 5 job? it’s tiring, it’s draining and you may work it out for a few months but sooner or later you’ll break down and quit… that’s how it goes… sadly. But then again what are you going to do? ask for loans and financial support from the government in order to “make colorful pictures” while thousands of people are unemployed? not many solutions are there? so let artists work, let them land commissions and shows and be able to work on their art full time instead of being  pure to their roots and not being able to continue their activity for a considerable time. I mean you gotta be really naive to think that all these murals that we se pop up across the globe are self financed… or that nobody gets paid to do these works… It’s a dog eat dog world and one does what one has to do to make ends meat… Let’s drop all this bullshit about sell out and just appreciate the work. There is a reason that these brands commission artists, because it sells, and it’s not my grandma that buys… so think about it…

  • Info
  • Nicholas Mann

    A group of suit-wearing street art commodities carrying a coffin labeled street art is ambiguous to you? I was really surprised, reading through your post, that your lead wasn’t sarcastic.

  • Nicholas Mann

     Except that it does matter, for the same reason the prescription drug companies funding the research behind prescription drugs matter. What’s best for the market isn’t necessarily best for the end product, and if art is created with the desire to make money in mind it’s fundamentally different than before: it’s a product.