Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sidewalk Canvas: Chalk Pavement Art at Your Feet - Julie Kirk-Purcell


In cities and towns throughout the world you may see an area of sidewalk decorated with chalk or pastels. This art form originated in Italy during the 16th century, with vagabond artists who painted religious pictures directly on the paved public squares, using chalk and charcoal. Thanks to the International Street Painting Festival in Grazie di Curtatone in Northern Italy, the art form has been revitalized, and festivals such as Absolut Chalk in Pasadena and the Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael, CA, attract up to 600 exhibitors and 60,000 visitors annually. Part folk art, part performance art, this fascinating genre, where chalk is substituted for paint and asphalt or concrete for canvas, is growing in popularity in the virtual world too, with online blogs and video streams celebrating the art.

Packed with vibrant examples from the author and other leading international street painters, Sidewalk Canvas includes magical 3-D illusions, original amusing twists on the old masters and works by artists famous in other media. In addition to a gallery of the best street painting from around the world, there are insights into how it is executed, where to find it, and how to create your own work. As well as appealing to practicing artists, art educators and the hundreds of thousands attending festivals worldwide, the book will also interest those commercial organizations seeking to commission street paintings for promotional purposes.


I first came across a chalk canvas when I was roaming the streets of Torino, Italy. It was absolutely fascinating and so to read a book like this from an insider's perspective is amazing!

As much as I'd love to say I paid attention to the methods and techniques, I have to admit that the art pieces themselves (preserved forever through photographs because they are...well...biodegradable (in a way)) captivated my attention and never let go. It was like me being in mum's closet and playing with the makeup, trying on different things and working out the combinations. Yes, for something that's this temporary, it sure leaves a huge impact on the viewer.

Recommended read for people who love art and/or those who get a kick out of seeing new things from old materials!

No comments:

Post a Comment