Photography and story by @Kostennn
Street art goes beyond bricks. From raising AIDS awareness to freedom of expression, 18-year-old photographer @Kostennn shares the social intentions behind Brooklyn’s notorious murals.
New Zealand street artist Owen Dippie created this Brooklyn mural, titled “The Radiant Madonna,” to show respect to legendary street artist Keith Haring. The concept behind this mural, in Owen’s own words: “If art is a religion, then Keith Haring is a God.”
Keith Haring became a well-known street artist and social activist in the 1980’s. Haring’s work often carried social messages about war, sexuality, and relationships. His work is most known for bringing awareness to HIV/AIDS in the 80’s.
French urban artist Invader is well known for his 8-bit video game inspired art. This piece is a collaboration with Adam Cost, a well-known artist from the early 1980’s to the mid 1990’s who promoted street art as an alternative to establishment art and gallery culture. Cost’s work is legendary in New York and had a major impact on artists across the globe.
Artists are always finding new ways to stay unique. Pioneering street artist Futura changed the graffiti movement in the early 1970’s by moving away from the basic lettering style and producing a more abstract kind of art, which inspired many artists to evolve and approach their craft differently.
Australian artist Adnate is globally known for painting realistic portraits around the world, heavily influenced by the chiaroscuro of renaissance painters like Caravaggio. Adnate creates art to raise awareness of indigenous cultures and the challenges they face. This beautiful and haunting mural was created in 2014 in collaboration with The Bushwick Collective.
Brothers Icy and Sot are stencil artists from Tabriz, Iran. They are internationally known for their political and social justice art. Street art is illegal in Iran, and after encountering trouble with Iranian police, Icy and Sot relocated to Brooklyn to continue producing their artwork. Their creative work continues to be driven by themes that relate to life in Iran including risk-taking, police authority, war, and hope.
This mural was done by David Walker, a color-explosive artist from London who goes around the world and paints portraits of women he has never met — using faces of women from magazines, photographs, and websites. David’s unique approach enables viewers to develop their own narrative around his work.
See more on Kostennn’s photography on Instagram.