Internet giant’s Google Street Art Project uses Street View stills to preserve what otherwise over time fades away.
Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Bambi, you name it. The works of both established and emerging street artists are getting a new lease of life made possible by Google.
The Google Street Art Project comes in the form of an archival website where users can discover online collections and exhibitions surrounding the history, locations and artists of street art. The project aims to preserve popular street art seen all over the world as part of our shared heritage. Sponsored by the Google Cultural Initiative and in collaboration with global museums and cultural institutions, the project will post street art from around the world alongside fine art made available within the overall Google Art Project.
Dubbed the “world’s cultural treasures online,” the site offers visitors the option to search via an interactive global map or by artists and also sift through over 4,000 pieces of art in high-definition imagery at their leisure. Users are encouraged to take become part of the community by posting and sharing imagery of street art on social media channels including the hashtag #streetartproject. There’s also an interactive section where users have the option to watch videos and listen to the featured artists sharing their stories.
There’s a possibility that street art aficionados will disapprove of the idea as part of the art form’s appeal is that fans have no idea where or when the artists are going to strike next and the ‘treasure hunt’ concept will be lost. There’s also the aspect of knowing that there’s a limited amount of time to see the work due to weather conditions, and territorial taggers and the graffiti police, so artist’s cult followers revel in seeking out their new and favoured pieces. Only time will tell if truly affects the hype surrounding this much-loved art form.