As people retreat in homes amid the coronavirus lockdowns, the graffiti and cityscape artists have headed out for creative expression on the vacant streets where restrictions have somewhat eased. Despite surveillance of the public spaces in a bid to stem the pandemic, the art has failed to stow away from plain sight. From Hong Kong to Dublin, the coronavirus art movement can be evident from how the muralists have articulated the pandemic on the walls.
An acclaimed anthropologist and curator, Rafael Schacter, an expert with a focus on public and global art, told a leading US media outlet that art is vital as an expression of the collective experience during challenging times of this pandemic. And hence, the artists, most importantly, have dissolved the very concept of the public space or scrutiny of the public policies and are coming forward with an artistic representation of the global health crisis on the streets.
And to back his claims, social media abounds in pictures of a graffiti, or a colourful, geometric painting popping up on random walls representing an encouraging concept, or focusing on the social issues, or perhaps simply gracing the wall. On Twitter, several artistic pieces can be seen drawn on the walls in Paris, Italy, Spain, India, England, Sudan, Poland, Greece, Syria, Indonesia, and elsewhere.
Quick pauses from my solo run to document #covid_19 themed street art (and some tone-deaf advertising).— Olivia G Cadwell (@oliviagcadwell) March 29, 2020
#quarantine #coronavirus #6feetapart #stayhome #streetart #graffiti #politicalart #covıd19 #socialdistancing pic.twitter.com/Xwjb9M5KRU
... take care of yourself, protect your heart, love yourself. Do not lose hope, choose colors. Art by Mawe RFK & Grow Up in Burjasot, Spain #StreetArt #Art #Heart #Love #Coronavirus #Hope #Graffiti #Poetry #beauty pic.twitter.com/r1mssXplAG— One World Street Art (@StreetArtDream) April 27, 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic has been a challenge that our generation has never faced before. In light of so much uncertainty and isolation, feelings of fear and loneliness is everywhere. But we are not alone, and despite these challenges, pic.twitter.com/Oe4wHShfbK— Wenqing Yan (@Yuumei_Art) April 21, 2020
Graffiti related to coronavirus in Brick Lane, east London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus— Pixiedust (@PixiedustJtT) April 27, 2020
Credit: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS pic.twitter.com/ePPkg7FIXA
Incredible street art and graffiti across the UK and Ireland over the last few weeks as the coronavirus keeps us in "LOCKDOWN" created by French street artist Zabou in East London pic.twitter.com/7xMsF93WPi— Golden Apple Films (@GoldenAppleFil1) April 26, 2020
A child stands next to advocacy graffiti by the Mathare Roots' youth group against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Mathare Valley slum, in Nairobi, Kenya— Pixiedust (@PixiedustJtT) April 25, 2020
Credit: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya pic.twitter.com/Kc4nT5Dfik
First Coronavirus-themed graffiti I've seen so far... pic.twitter.com/acgsKBCwTM— Andrew Mendelawitz (@A_Mendelawitz) April 22, 2020
I have noted that Coronavirus-themed political graffiti in Athens, especially when it appears on supermarkets and private businesses, is often removed swiftly, only to be reinscribed with new slogans. An example from my neighborhood, Petralona. pic.twitter.com/FS5ynmsrZS— Julia Tulke (@JuliaTulke) April 24, 2020
Children look at an advocacy graffiti by the Mathare Roots's youth group against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Mathare Valley slum, in Nairobi, Kenya pic.twitter.com/ak8wemngUf— Russell Boyce (@Cropperboyce) April 23, 2020