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The Art of Building Art

Updated on October 11, 2012
An overpass in Hong Kong
An overpass in Hong Kong
In Paris
In Paris
From a distance, it looks very real
From a distance, it looks very real
The Chelsea cat
The Chelsea cat
The grandfather of building art, The Beatles boutique in 1967
The grandfather of building art, The Beatles boutique in 1967

Building art, as in, painted large murals depicting colorful images on the side of large, all buildings is a wonderful experience. It makes a dull concrete building into a piece of art, it livens up the surrounding area and tourists gaze at it. It could inspire another's imagination or creativity. Building art is art by skilled and talented artists. It is not gang related graffiti that is simply trash akin to a dog marking a territory with gang "codes". This type of of "art" degrades the worth of the building and owners remove it.

I suppose building art, as we now see it, began with The Beatles in 1967, when they hired an artist to paint the outside of their first clothing store, the Apple Boutique, in a now-demolished building in London at the corner of Baker and Paddington Streets. According to Paul McCartney, it was to provide "a beautiful place where beautiful people can buy beautiful things." By 1968, it closed down for gross mismanagement (The Beatles had hired others to operate it). Yet, despite the failure, the building on the outside took a drab piece of concrete and turned it into a piece of art.

Today, artists continue, creating pieces of art on the sides of buildings or in other public areas to turn normal and drab items into "works". Paris, France, seems to have the artistic binge for many of their buildings, but other places, like Hong Kong.

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