|Mike Newton, Removing Me Wont Solve the Problem, Wheatpaste, 2007|
For the most part wheatpaste art not only displays an artists beauty and talent, but is often accompanied by a political, sometimes satirical message. There are of course legal issues with wheatpasting but why? If we can drown and pollute the streets with product placement advertising for corporate companies to get people to buy what they're selling then why not allow the same opportunity for artists through wheatpasting? After all, street art is advertising and has its own idea to sell. The photo above is by an artist named Mike Newton who created a series of work discussing the issue of homelessness combined with the removal of art such as wheatpasting.
I noticed how the police would move the homeless from street to street, doorway to doorway around town. This gave me the inspiration for my latest piece "Removing Me Wont Solve the Problem" a kind of twist on the removal of graffiti.Newton draws a comparison between the use of authority to try and rid of a social problem such as homelessness with the problem of the removal of street art.
One of the most infamous graffiti artists who has become well known that frequently uses wheatpasting in his work is (that's right you guessed it) Banksy.
Wheatpasting crews are popping up all over D.C inspired by New York's street artists JR, SWOON, and D.C's DECOY. JR was recently the TED prize winner for the global art project Inside Out.
The Inside Out project has expanded and calls on everyone to become a participant. On their website there is a statement that describes what the project is.
INSIDE OUT is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images will be made into posters and sent back to the project’s co-creators for them to exhibit in their own communities. People can participate as an individual or in a group; posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window to a wall of portraits on an abandoned building or a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and viewable virtually.
The project stemmed from one persons idea and has now become a collective, collaborative effort to help spread the stories of people's lives we may never cross or know exactly how they live. It brings light to that blindness of problems and social struggles occurring in the world. This is a great example of how photography has been integrated into the wheatpasting trend. Wheatpasting is no longer just drawings and graffiti.
Another group that has incorporated photography and the use of wheatpasting is Mentalgassi, a Berlin- based creative collective made up of three artists engaged in urban intervention by transforming urban elements using specially chosen images.
|Mentalgassi, Getxophoto, Wheatpaste, 2011|
Mentalgassi teamed up with Amnesty International to create the "Making the Invisible Visible" project. Juxtapoz Magazine covered the story of this project whose goal was to raise awareness about the case of the inmate Troy Davis and the problems within the possible innocnece in some death penalty cases.
Wheatpasting is a rapidly growing way to display art work on the streets. Who knows maybe in the near future you may be participating in one way or another with an artist that is involved in projects involving wheatpasting or you may just be doing it for you.