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Peter Gibson’s Street Art Critiques Car Culture
Graffiti meets environmental and social activism in Peter Gibson (a.k.a. Roadsworth)’s literal take on street art. Frustrated with the lack of safety provided for cyclists in today’s cities, the artist began (illegally) spray painting extra bike lanes onto the streets of Montreal in 2001. It wasn’t long before he began to branch out and address other civic and environmental issues through his cutting brand of creative imagery. Intended to address many of the confining conditions of living in an urban environment, Peter Gibson’s work treats these topics with a sort of wry humor that doesn’t dull their urgent message.
Peter Gibson‘s work began as an act of protest against the dangers that automobiles pose to pedestrians and cyclists. Over time it evolved into a thoughtful critique on how contemporary society’s “car culture” causes people to live their lives disconnected from others and the environment.
In his artist statement, Peter Gibson says: “Given the possibility of moving between work, the gym and home again without ever setting foot outside, it‘s not surprising that many people are out of touch with their surroundings. Under such conditions, space is merely transitional; the passing of scenery between point A and point B and it is therefore treated as such.”
Peter Gibson continued his street art until 2004, when he was arrested and charged with over 80 counts of public mischief. With public support on his side, his sentence was lenient: a minor fine and 40 hours of community work which entailed creating legal artwork. Today he is often commissioned to create works of art.
“My original intention was to simply introduce an element of surprise in an otherwise uniform and predictable environment.” – Peter Gibson
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