A Brief History of Street Painting

Street painting, or what is also known as pavement art, street art, or sidewalk art, is the practice of drawing or painting large scale murals outside. The murals are used to The history of street painting can be traced back to Europe at the end of the 19th century. Street artists were primarily found in England with an estimated 500 making a living from street painting alone.

Mural at the Smithsonian

Smithsonian Installation | photo by: Michael Kirby

Originally, street painters would accompany their masterpieces with poems and proverbs related to the current events. This was often used as a way to create a visual of the news for the illiterate. Over the years street painting continued to develop across Europe until 1973 when a two week festival in Italy was created. The festival celebrates the Assumption with the streets of Italy being turned over to street painters to use for painting.

In 1986 Kurt Wenner started the first street painting festival in the United States and called it I Madonnari because that is the Italian name for street painters.

3-D street painting or anamorphic art was not invented until the 1980s.

Michael William Kirby is highly regarded as a 3-D street painter. He is considered a top (if not the best) street painter in the world because of his creativity and innovation.

Stay tuned to learn more about the art of street painting.

Michael William Kirby has won numerous street painting and pavement art competitions, and has been featured in festivals and galleries around the world. To commission a street painting, or for more information about the work of Michael Kirby, please visit our website, or email info@muralsofbaltimore.com.

Stay tuned to get in touch with your inner artist. And if you really want to be inspired, check us out on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInFlickr, and Pinterest.



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