Have you ever thought about how the street art and the one created using virtual reality platforms such as Second Life or Imvu are similar? Think about it: street art, whether music, painting, a live performance, live often (but not always) of its impermanence, is both a “unique” but it is seen by hundreds if not thousands or millions of people. Often arises spontaneously and even illegal, so that a street artist (especially in the case of those who create murals or stickers) must be ready to quickly move away from the place of his “exhibition“, yet it is characterized by direct contact between artist and public, often experienced in an interactive way.
The same thing happens when you think about virtual worlds: for the artist is virtually impossible to isolate him/herselves and not be influenced by the flow of communications and contacts with the surrounding environment, his/her creations are often impermanent (but may be stored on private media and then be subject to a sale, then have a market, just as happens some years to leading exponents of the street art). The creative act is in itself a “unique” but in this case can be enjoyed by a multitude of people and even reproduced in a serial way.
There are also more subtle links: many street artists, especially in the graphic/pictorial field, used nicknames to “sign” their work, from “Invader” to “Banksy”, up to “Mr Brainwash”. Almost all pick up objects and forms of daily use, or logos or famous images, and turn them into, as well as artists of Second Life and virtual worlds enrich with their own textures and shapes what are other people’s contents (from background to skins, shapes or avatars’ clothes, from accessories in the scene to the environmental setting or streaming).
So much so that it is rare thatan electronic work so created is not “daughter” of previous creations, just as with the works of many street artists. The street art, than that of virtual worlds, has already achieved commercial success and its artists began to produce works that can be bought and sold at auction, think of Keith Haring or Banksy, to high prices (and even then sometimes some of the works, estimated at tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of value are removed because they are considered disfiguring street furniture).
On the other hand just Banksy, some said, would have “created” the carachter of Mr Brainwash (who came from nothing in a few years if not a few months to a commercial successeven embarrassing) to prove that at the end the contemporary art market is just a big game (where you can win and lose real money, however).
Which again approaching these two art forms, as known to the art of virtual worlds is seen most often by those “artists” just entertainment, a game, something that has yet to find its own self-awareness and perhaps a manifesto to become in every respect. And maybe at that point and after a Gagosian Gallery has begun to promote the works and that the millions of dollars have started to flow, someone will emulate Banksy and Mr. Brainwash and create a huge joke to remember that after all art is (also) a big game.