The 18b wall as it appeared on April 13, 2015.
On average I'll stalk for 18b street art at least every other week. I am rarely disappointed and something new usually appears from the artists I called Tricksters in an January post. The work does get invaded by sloppy tags, but by being cleaned up and restored by locals as best as possible, an artistic intent is defended. The work has its guardians. This street art is a Las Vegas reflection of what conceptual text-based and multimedia artist John Fekner said in his forward for “The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti” by Rafael Schacter. Fekner wrote:
“For the first time in history, artists who are creating art away from the major centers of art and culture are no longer at a disadvantage. The Internet has increased accessibility through the proliferation of blogs and social media, which has fueled hordes of dedicated fan bases using cell phones and cameras to instantly record, document, and post their interpretations of life, culture, and art online.”
For now, Las Vegas street art in the 18b may be showing how there is a difference between an egocentric tag and intricate application of illustrations that is a direct comment, or adds satire or whimsy to a creative neighborhood. Art is the message, not the messenger.
As for the word public art and how it applies to street art, Schacter told me in an interview in 2013 he prefers the term “ Independent Public Art” or “Informal Public Art.” Then there is UNLV art professor Pasha Rafat, who leans away from the term Public Art altogether. He uses the term “Art in Public Space” for works seen outside of traditional galleries that's a response to direct environment.
With that, here’s a round of some of the Independent Art in Public Space seen in 18b in first half of 2015.
Artists requesting full credit can email information to edfuentes (@) paintthisdesert.com
Additional street art resource is the diligent and dangerous LostVaugueUs.
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.