Digital Graffiti – To What End?

Jun 15, 2010

Graffiti or “street art” has been around for a long time, but seems to come in and out of mainstream cultural awareness. In recent years, work by artists such as Shepard Fairey who inadvertently went commercial by creating the now-iconic and (somewhat controversial) Obama print,

Shepard Fairey Obama Print

Shepard Fairey Obama Print

 

Banksy, who has a documentary “Exit Through The Gift Shop” now screening (recently covered in a Dipdive DailyDip),

Banksy Street Art

Banksy Street Art

and Mr. Brainwash (who may or may not actually be an alter ego of Banksy, according to Fairey) has been on the rise in more widespread public exposure.

Mr. Brainwash "Life is Beautiful"

Mr. Brainwash "Life is Beautiful"

 

Now, graffiti artist Phetus says he is bringing the art form to the digital realm in the form of an iPhone/iPod/iPad app.

Graffiti Spray Can AppGraffiti Spray Can App

Graffiti Spray Can App

 

Phetus concludes in a video interview stating that he has been painting since 1988 and putting his logo as many places as he can… in less than a week, he’s gotten further with his career with the iTunes store [exposure via his new Graffiti Spray Can app, which has a free version and an upcoming paid version with more features].

Pop Cuture Author, Alissa Quart, comments that Phetus is walking the fine line between commercializing his talent and celebrating the art form.

I think it’s great that Phetus can gain much broader exposure via digital marketing for the work he has put in over many years, but it does put him in a different category from Artists like Banksy, whose work itself carries a message simply by his remaining (publicly) anonymous.

In the end, I’ll check out his free app and look forward to the seeing features in the upcoming paid version, which looks to include some social networking components and mini-games!

For what it’s worth, I had not known of Phetus, but like his work, especially because he’s done a vinyl figure!

Fatcap Series 2: Phetus by Phetus

Fatcap Series 2: Phetus by Phetus

 

Props to Mashable for their post and video interview: