Street art; Keith Haring, Blu and Geco

A system with its thousand contradictions

1989. The spiritual testament of a great artist like Keith Haring is found in Italy, in Pisa. This is about a legacy that has an institutional value and can be found on the back wall of the convent of the friars servants of Mary of the church of Sant’Antonio di Pisa, the opera Tuttomondo is the celebration of peace and harmony.

At the bottom of the work there is a little yellow man running away and it is the representation of the artist himself who disappears behind his work to leave it to the citizens, an act of humility and generosity.

An attitude therefore that of the city of Pisa which shows openness and appreciation towards an art form which, however, often does not receive the same treatment from other Italian administrations.

Street art on the one hand is “exploited” to encourage alternative tourist fruition routes and I am referring to the project Il MURo of Roma, on the other hand, if not canonized within potential economic repercussions for the administration itself, it is demonized.

The arrest of the famous writer Geco, which took place a few days ago, is an example.

A press release by the mayor Raggi reads exactly as follows: “Thanks to the work of the Environment and Decoration Unit, and a year of investigations coordinated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Rome, our agents were able to identify the writer”.

The monster has been captured and the city’s decor has been saved. Let’s take a time jump and move to another city.

March 2016, in the Blu blog we read: “In Bologna there is no more Blu and there will be no more as long as the tycoons eat, for thanks or complaints you know who to contact”.

Blu is a renowned street artist with a prodigious talent, but he decides to cover his works in gray, what happened?
Fabio Roversi Monaco, former rector of the University of Alma mater, former number one of the Carisbo foundation, president of Banca Imi, has decided to organize with Genus Bononiae an exhibition with the unequivocal title “Street Art-Banksy & Co. urban ”, at Palazzo Pepoli in Bologna.
It will consist of over 250 works from various parts of the world. Among these, also some drawings by the artist Blu, a well-known name in the world both in Italy and abroad.
The works to be clear, will be removed from the places where they were made, contravening the spirit and logic of street art, an art that lives and breathes the places where it is inserted, a democratic art that is implicitly related to the same idea of transience. Roversi defends himself against the accusations of the collective of writers Wu Ming, who write from the Giap blog, saying he wants to save works that would otherwise be lost and Blu’s rebellion serves to disavow systemic hypocrisy with a gesture with a strong communicative impact.
Blu will act with the same attitude of Keith Haring, with the same generosity, but without the “protected shoulders”, because not all administrations have the same foresight.

Between tradition and modernity, Pisa has looked beyond respecting the logic of street art, other administrations have shown themselves to be short-sighted, insensitive if not moved by mere opportunism.
For intellectual honesty and truthfulness of the news, the different perspectives and the different attitude also find a justification at the legislative level.
March 2017 Minister Minniti writes a decree, which has now become law, which states that where there is no decorum there is no safety.
The first paragraph of article 4 reads: “For the purposes of this decree, urban security means the public good that relates to the livability and decorum of the cities, to be pursued also through redevelopment and recovery of the areas …”;
Article 16 of the same law provides for the reform of the crime of soiling, which can now lead to prison.
In the name of decoration, public space cannot be lived in a different way from conforming, but decoration is not the etymological opposite of decay, the etymological opposite of decay is improvement.
Lucia tozzi, urban planner, describes well (Cf.Elogio alle tag, Andrea Cagna, 2018 Agenzia X) how writing represents a mode of discovery, street art in its broadest sense creates new urban topoi, attracting the world’s gaze to forgotten realities .
The urban redevelopment processes pass through these forms of improvement, but they cannot forget the cry of protest that is implicitly connected to this form of art. It would be nice, therefore, to be able to hypothesize a new Camargo (a municipality in the state of Tamaulipas, in central Mexico where it is not a crime to express oneself on the streets even with zany tags and writings ed).
A place where expressing yourself becomes an act of peaceful revolution. Between bureaucratic constraints and the inability to adapt to the times, Italy often stands still, losing the possibility of grasping the nuances of a revolution that is above all cultural.

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