What Is Guerilla Art?

Guerilla 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, guerilla art does not have to be done with spray paint. Other popular forms include videos and projections. There is no one motivation for making guerilla art. However, popular reasons include statement making, the sharing of ideas, the desire to send out good karma, and plain fun. Many times guerilla art is used to make a political statement, however, for this assignment it is used to make a statement about creativity.


"Guerilla art has arisen 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."

Famous Examples

  • 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.
  • The subtle alteration of billboards in order to make a catchy or ironic message.
  • "The Provos dressed up as Santa Claus and handing out presents that did not belong to them to children in the department store, causing the police to respond and publicy arrest a handful of Santas in front of the children."

-The provos were a guerilla art group from the 1960's.

There are many possible forms of guerilla art. Not to say that this is all of them, however, this list covers many of the most common.

1. Sidewalk chalk
2. Sticker art
3. Flyers/posters (see "make a flyer of your day" at http://www.learningtoloveyoumore.com.
4. Journals (pass it on)
5. Zines
6. Object leave behinds (money, gifts, junk)
7. Notes (slogans)
8. Graffiti
9. Book inserts (library)
10. Book leave behinds (bookcrossing.com)
11. Letters (possibly love letters to strangers)
12. The age old 'message in a bottle', or a balloon. Or if you are really adventurous you might be drawn to carrier pigeons.

There are also many potential ideas for subject matter.

-any form of artwork (drawings, collage, doodles, paintings)
-good luck charms
-variations on a theme
-many guerilla artist are politically motivated and find that being anonymous allows them to be more controversial or extreme with their message. Popular with activists.

Information found at http://www.kerismith.com/blog/archives/000079.html

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