We believe that the most important thing in street art is its freedom. An artist needs to be unstrained in order to fully express oneself.
When you walk on the street with a spray can in your backpack, every wall is a canvas. Nobody can stop you from saying what you think the world needs to hear.
At the same time it’s also a big responsibility. You are fully in charge, use it wisely. When we break the rules the society has for us, we need to have our own to follow.
That’s why we
have written this manifesto of independent street art
1. Public space belongs to everyone
2. It is everyone’s duty to take care of it
3. The purpose of street art is to enrich, not ruin, public space
4. All additions are welcome: if you don’t like it – improve it
5. Act according to your common sense, not by law
How did the love affair between Tartu and street art start? One might say it started over ten years ago, when a couple of local teenagers visited Berlin and got obsessed with the raw, unsanctioned artworks on the streets, free for everyone to see and to add their own. One might say that its roots are in the local graffiti movement that started in the mid 90s thanks to the impact of MTV and western hip-hop culture. One might say, it was Banksy, who inspired a whole generation of stencil artists. There are countless personal narratives, but it’s effect was mutual – the infection of street art spread and artists started connecting to each other. Soon there was a tight-knit community which gave way to the best known street artists in Estonia: Edward von Lõngus, MinaJaLydia, KAIRO, Hapnik, müra2000 and TAF as well as the body that connects us all, street art festival Stencibility.
Today, Tartu is known as the street art capital of Estonia and streets are full of works from the first generation artists as well as experiments of excited newbies and various anonymous works. In addition to the hardware we also present to you k2rte, Stina Leek and GUTFACE – the courageous, fresh and straight up awesome energy on the streets of Tartu.
These are our small town Robin Hoods who are breaking the law in order to bring art to the streets, make our environment more meaningful and personal. We believe in bringing the desired change yourself instead of waiting for someone else to do it for you – public space belongs to everyone who uses it!