Graffiti and Street Art Sculptures

Sculpture has been used as a form of human expression since prehistoric times. Traditions of carving, chiseling, graving, and casting have been handed down through centuries of art history, up to the most widespread contemporary art movement of the 21st century: Urban Contemporary Art. At first, a few urban artists started converting their initial 2D lettering into 3D artworks, bringing a major evolution in the art of stylizing letters. But they were not many, partly because graffiti lettering as a sculpture is an extremely complicated art form to execute. And then there are street artists who have found a different way of experimenting urban art as a sculpture in public space.

Indeed, in order to stand out on walls covered with graffiti and street art, many urban artists have begun to create 3D artworks that require specific skills in the art of sculpture. These sculptures, difficult to spot when they are in public space, range from the woodcuts of New York duo Thundercut to French street artist Oré with his Quetzalcóatl. But perhaps the most iconic examples of 3D street art installations are artworks from Invader: these ceramic tile mosaics inspired by the first generation of video games that have invaded cities since the early 2000s.

Thus, the scope of sculptures in graffiti and street art is very wide. Street art sculptures can be small-scale, even miniatures that dialogue with urban landscapes like the work of Slinkachu and Isaac Cordal or larger installations such as D*Face’s oversized concrete spray can rising from the earth in Trafalgar Square (London, 2008) or Banksy’s artwork “Angel Bust” (Bristol, 2009). As for sculpture applied to graffiti, the first artist to push the boundaries of graffiti writing and move it in all directions was Rammellzee, who began creating his mixed-media sculptures in the 1980s by turning the rubbish he found on the streets into art. Then in Europe, the Dutch graffiti artist Delta was the first to experiment 3D graffiti sculptures directly inspired by his 3D letters done on walls.

Following their examples, many graffiti artists have turned the letters of their name into graffiti sculptures, while keeping in mind the complex lines of wildstyle graffiti, such as the work of Daim, Peeta, Recto and Xavier Magaldi. For the latter, whose work is featured in our collection of Urban Art sculptures, it is important to mention that the artist has a background in watchmaking, reason why both his graffiti and sculptures are highly mechanical and intricate. When browsing graffiti and street art sculptures on Urbaneez, you can find sculptures of all kinds like the famous sculptures of Le CyKlop made on street bollards, Bortusk Leer’s cheerful wooden figures adapted from his street works, Gomad’s sculptures in plexiglass which are based on original paintings and the exceptional work of the artist Zurik who pushes the boundaries of graffiti lettering made on wood.

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