The majority of the world’s population is still going through lockdown and few are passing through to the next stage. As the world is at a standstill, art is still present and continuously moving. In fact, artists are treating this historical moment as a muse for their artwork. Street artists in particular have taken the COVID-19 pandemic backdrop, along with the current global political-climate, as an opportunity to paint the streets with current and relevant art.
Here is just some artwork that has appeared on the streets around the world.
In the UK, street artists dedicated their work to the NHS (the National Health Service). Over the course of the pandemic, paintings of rainbows were seen from windows of private homes and shop fronts and everyone got involved, including children to street artists. The rainbow became the symbol of the NHS and was accompanied by slogans such as: ‘Save the NHS’, ‘Support our NHS’ and ‘Save Lives, Stay Home’.
The citizens of the UK take great pride in the NHS and during the pandemic, the population have stood behind it. They’re supporting the health service through its most difficult and demanding period.
Italy was one of the countries hardest-hit by the Corona Virus and was the first in Europe to go into lockdown. Italy’s population is one of the oldest in the world, which contributed to the high death toll among other reasons. Even with strict quarantine laws, Italy’s street artists were still able to produce art dedicated to their country’s older community and the health workers that worked so hard to save lives.
Brazil has been faced with controversy around the issue of the pandemic. The president Jair Bolosonaro claiming that COVID-19 is a fantasy and the pandemic is nothing more than media-hype. Brazil has record-breaking spikes with 500,000 cases and counting. In more recent weeks, Brazil has experienced protests against the mis-handling of the pandemic and street artists have also expressed their feelings towards the right-wing government’s contribution to the death toll.
In the United States, cities and towns are brimming with spectacular street art. The country did not go into full lockdown and have a high number of cases but the street artists used this as an opportunity to create some art.
The Netherlands reacted quickly to the pandemic by taking pretentative measures to limit the spread of Covid-19. However, like most countries, the street artists showed their support and solidarity of the front-liners by dedicating art to them.
Even Banksy, who prefers to use the street as a canvas for his artwork, made some creations during lockdown but this time, following official advice and working from home, his canvas-of-choice was his bathroom and his muse-of-choice were Banksy’s famous stencilled rats.
We encourage you to take the government-sanctioned outdoors time to roam your streets and enjoy the Pandemic-influenced local street art that has cropped up over the past few months.