Best Street Art (2012)

Stuck on the Streets in Tempe

Behind just about every stop sign in Tempe is a sticky collection of hellos, goodbyes, and markings of "So and so was here." This is no slapdash affair. Sticker art has been around for decades, but many trace slap sticking, sticker tagging, or creating art on stickers, name tags, and post office labels and sticking them around town to the early '90s and an artist named Shepard Fairey. Fairey made a sticker with a bold face of wrestler Andre the Giant. He printed thousands, stuck them all over the streets, and mailed them to other artists around the world.

Today, the best spot in town to find work by emerging street artists is on the back of a street sign in Tempe. It's here you'll spot small-scale work that's rarely peeled off by city law enforcement (because of placement and the number of parties and other legal infractions they keep themselves busy with). It's an ephemeral gallery, and the artists — often in art school at ASU or part of the city's quickly expanding art community — don't mind being stuck up for days, weeks, or even better, months.


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