Street art and the sharing economy

I’ve written about the so-called sharing economy before, and how it’s not really about sharing but more about connecting. Here is an unusual example I came across this morning. It’s one of those slap-on-forehead, why-didn’t-I-think-of-it examples that in retrospect seems more obvious than unusual, but I still think it’s original, creative and cool.

Color Plus City

For all you graffiti artists out there, Color Plus City pairs you with someone who has a wall you can paint on. No more jumping train tracks and dodging the anti-graffiti police. The initiative’s base and concentration is in Sao Paolo (almost 3000 participating walls!), which has a legacy of amazing street art – colourful people adding life to relatively grey city. Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte are in second and third place, and smatterings of activity are popping up in other cities all over the world. No participating walls in Madrid yet (come on, guys!), but Cuenca has stepped up to the plate, with one “donated” wall currently being painted.

In the same vein, if you haven’t seen Google’s Street Art Project, take a look. It maps street art around the world, and takes you there, virtually. I’ve spent ages on this, it’s hypnotising.

Google's Street Art Project

I love street art (you can see my Pinterest board here): the colour, the creativity, the brightness and movement it gives drab surfaces. I’m fascinated by the fact that, where some see a wall, others see a canvas. Decorating our environment is an instinct that goes back to the caves. Even back then, did we all want to draw on the cave walls, or was it only some of us? Will we ever know? I like to think that we all have that creative instinct, that we are all capable of making anything more beautiful once we’re given the freedom to do so. Webs like Color Plus City are expanding the freedom of graffiti artists, by making it easier to find appropriate surfaces, and by encouraging this art form.

 

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