Street Art Throwdown


A few months ago I came across this show. It caught my eye and interest. I was curious on how they would incorporate street art into a reality competition show. At first, I had my doubts.

How are they going to flip this and make it work? Plus, why—out of all the cable networks—was the Oxygen Network the channel that picked up the show? That is one network that I would never have pictured airing this type of programming. Once I found out they were airing this show, I knew they would tweak it.

Street art is already interesting but how are you going to create a competition out of it?

Street art is subjective. Not everyone is going to like the different artists and different types of art. Plus, what type of competitions would the artists do? Just know I had a lot of questions at the beginning.

Like I said I had my doubts. Why would you want to shed the spotlight on street art? A good amount of artists like to remain anonymous, they like the focus to be on the art. But as years past, street art become more and more socially acceptable thanks to the rise in popularity of Banksy and Shepard Fairey, among others.

To me, it seems like the show’s producers are aficionados of street art but I feel like they wanted to piggyback off its rising popularity to try and cash in.

For example, they felt the need to provide definitions for art slang. In episode one, we were provided with a definition for: tag, throwie, can control and color value.

Also, some of the competitions in the show were wack. Sorry.

In one competition, the artists had to create a poster for the famous D.A.R.E. campaign while in another episode the artists had to develop a mural for Polaroid. Both didn’t feel like a genuine competition that feature street art instead they felt like more of a marketing plan or a product placement type of thing. I understand the premise behind choosing them—companies have commissioned artists to paint murals featuring their products—but they felt force.

I still went ahead and checked out the first episode and the season. The show was cool for what it was. I found myself enjoying different things in the eight episodes. Some of the pieces and murals that were created by these eight different contestants were dope.

The contestants Annie Preece, Cameron and Grimnasty were my favorites. Each one was different than the next. Each had their own style, their own individuality and creativity, and it showed throughout the competition.

The show could’ve been better. However, it did produce some good artwork. Below are some screencaps from the season. If you are curious and/or if you have some time, you should check out at least an episode.

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