What is Guerrilla Art?

Unauthorized displays of creativity

Jun 15 · 4 min read

It’s all too easy to get stuck in a routine, walking through the city on autopilot without even noticing what’s around you. Guerrilla artists seek to shake things up, force you to take a second look, change your preconceptions about your everyday surroundings.

Guerrilla art, also referred to as “street art”, is a method of art making where the artist leaves anonymous art pieces in public places. It is often an installation in an unauthorized location. It is a way for an artist to express their views and opinions to a large audience in an anonymous way. In contrast to popular belief, guerrilla art does not have to be done with spray paint. Other popular forms include videos and projections. There is no one motivation for making guerrilla art. However, popular reasons include statement making, the sharing of ideas, the desire to send out good karma, and plain fun. Many times guerrilla art is used to make a political statement, but sometimes, its intent is specifically to encourage pedestrians to to notice of their surrounding environment.

Guerrilla began as a small underground movement starting in the 1980s, partially as a response to the perceived takeover of public space by commercial interests, the perceived banality of many authorized public art pieces, and the frequent lack of authorized exhibition opportunities for artists.

In December of 1989, the bronze sculpture Charging Bull by Arturo Di Modica was installed in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Even though the sculpture was unauthorized, it became popular with many New Yorkers, and was eventually installed permanently a few blocks away in Bowling Green plaza.

Many examples of guerrilla artwork revolve around alterations to ordinary objects, tweaks that at first may not register as passers by catch glimpses of them out of the corners of their eyes — but that upon closer inspection call our everyday urban environment into question.

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Casey Botticello

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Partner at Black Edge Consulting —Washington, D.C. Strategic Communications Firm | Entrepreneur & Investor | Daily Medium Writer Tips: medium.com/blogging-guide

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