There’s art in public spaces and then there’s art on public spaces. Sidewalks to be precise. Armed with spray paint and stencils, street artists are colorizing, democratizing and weaponizing urban concrete jungles, square by square, between the cracks.
There are graphic messages of love and peace, and harmony and tolerance.
There are promotions and advertisements for musicians, films, eateries, products, shops and more.
And there are rants, plenty of rants — directed at The Man, at Big Tech, at injustices and at rude people.
For better or worse, the heavily trafficked concrete pathways through urban jungles are the new canvas of choice for analog amateurs, advertisers and advocates. So much so that uncensored sidewalk art is now as familiar as Internet popups and memes. And, just as with digital graffiti, observant viewers of street art can find as many thoughtful and beautiful posts as they can find annoying and ugly ones.
The challenge for hurried pedestrians is to watch where they’re going at the same time they watch where they step. Because, while dog owners may be better about scooping poop, beware there are plenty of new distractions afoot.