Street Art in Seattle Circa 1980
You just do not see street art like this now; most street art is slap tagging or freehand style tagging. But back in the 1980’s in Seattle at least street art was really that. Art, lots of art to lift the spirit, convey a message, make you think something. You will spot a couple of references to Ronald Regan in this, showing that propaganda was also very popular along the way as we wandered around downtown Seattle taking pictures of what people were posting up. This is really more of an archive moving from pictures from film to digital so that they are more easily shared.
Many of these artists are unknown, works unsigned, meant to be ephemeral and temporary. The closest we come in the Seattle area right now to similar works is Dent. The 1980’s were really a very special period of time in relationship to street art and the influence it had as street art in Seattle migrated into the 1990’s and beyond. From such simple art through the rest of the art that we see along the way, it is worth taking time out and seeing what you can find as you wander around your city. We are always so busy and in such a hurry that being able to stop and look at the messages street artists are trying to tell us about life, politics, sex, religion, and their viewpoints is an important counter point to regular popular culture.
So much of this art was influenced by Ronald Regan, the invasion of Grenada, and the actions we were taking in Central America at the time. You can see those influences along with the restlessness that formed the 1980’s in all this art. Stop for a moment and take a look, let me know what you think, what emotions does it evoke, how does it make you feel?