A look at anonymous paste Graffiti art


This is a post looking at the recent phenomenon of paste up and stencil art with a side ways nod to spray can graffiti. It’s a continuation of the theme of posts I’ve recently done investigating various forms of anonymous street art (Yarn bombing and Guerrilla Gardening).


Paste up and Stencil street art is generally considered part and parcel with spray paint graffiti and general defacing of public property – illegal.


I think it has to be mentioned some of this style of graffiti has artistic merit and is quite beautiful.

In fact some artists/works have acclaimed status in contemporary culture (Bansky is a great example of this)  and tend to influence and inform pop culture.

The concepts are varied, hot topics tend to be political views, social rhetoric and amusing observations. It’s important to note that this genre in the current social climate is seen more often graduating into the art world and street wear fashion trends.


I just want to add at this point that I’m not suggesting people get out on the streets and illegally start pasting up whatever they feel like – there are generally criminal consequences with this sort of activity.

I’m definitely in favour of authorised murals but it’s hard to tell what’s been authorised and what hasn’t (I would imagine the smaller stickers on lampposts and traffic lights, also the politically charged images to be amongst the unauthorised) – However I am displaying here what I think has merit in terms ‘appreciation as an art form’, some of which are most likely commissions.


This ticket machine is HILLARIOUS!!!!


What is ‘paste up’ art? Paste Modernism states ‘”The ‘Paste-Up’ is an ever-expanding and innovative form of street art, that involves an artist making their work onto varying sizes of paper and then applying it to walls and surfaces within their urban environment using wheat-paste or wallpaper glue.  Whether as black and white multiplied photocopies, colourfully hand painted murals or thought provoking text pieces, the ‘Paste-Up’ is an immediate and bold contemporary art-form.’ You can extend this definition to Stencil art work as well as the stencils would be designed by the artists to predetermined in size and scale and applied to surfaces with paint”.


The recent movie ‘Exit through the gift shop’ attributed to Banksy; gave a first hand glimpse into this underground activity and the work of a few ‘artists’ working in this genre. The movie also showed the seamless cross over from street art to art exhibitions (and fashion) as part of the natural journey for some of these artists. It’s an interesting view of this sub culture and the fickle nature of the art world and if you are interested in this topic and haven’t seen this movie – I suggest you do.

7709931_f520These images make it very hard not to appreciate their beauty and skill – to be honest in the end it’s just another form of creative expression is it not?




Image3516362_f520And my personal favourite the white rabbit


If you are still wondering, but how do these artists have anything to do with pop culture, or fashion, art???!!!????? well I put together a dramatized version of how this happens. I have  used a young artist who was prolific in the early 2000’s in NZ and has since cashed in and separated herself from the brand she had created. This is Misery aka Tanja Jade Thomson. OBEY, Banksy and various others have also executed parts or all of this process to achieve status….. Doing what they love! Watch the Banksy movie!!!!



6 thoughts on “A look at anonymous paste Graffiti art

  1. Graffiti artist are so talented. Unfortunately, except when captured by photo– it is too short lived.


  2. Interestingly, paste-up has made its way only slowly into Chicago, Pepper…graffiti artists here seem to still prefer spray paint, which is not sold by law within the city limits, but totally available in the nearby suburbs. The old Mayor thought that banning the sale of spray paint would eliminate graffiti…what a dope! Some is very well done, others not, especially a ‘frosted’ type, which cannot be removed from glass windows (it actually ‘etches’ the glass!).


  3. Great post. I am traveling in South America and have come across some great street art. Some of it is really amazing.


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