FuckILoveYou Street Art Movement ❤️

When we talk about street art, we visualize it in a public setting outside traditional art institutions. Its common forms include spray paint graffiti, stencil graffiti, poster art, sticker art, etc. Contemporary street art continues to be used as a medium to comment on socio-political issues happening locally or all around the world, but is it still an illegal activity???

I want to introduce you to one of the most rapidly growing street art movement, which originated in Toronto, and is now spread out across North America and Europe – the Fuck I Love You (FILU) movement (@fuckiloveyou.movement). If you google the name, you will see Instagram, Twitter, and other blog platform posts and images depicting a big red heart and the movement logo inside it.

Effective creative interventions require a judicious balance of art and message as it’s not just what artists say – it’s how they say it. The FILU movement was created to spread the love and bring the beauty and enjoyment to its viewers in spite of the fact that its illegal if placed on private properties or areas not allocated for street art. As soon as FILU movement got attention, it became a medium for people to share their stories and experiences with others. I looked through a few comments on the FILU movement’s Instagram page to see how people reacted to it. My research revealed that a lot of people support the movement, constantly take photos of the murals and post them online as well as they are happy to see this kind of art in their cities and even get motivation from looking at it. See below some posts from the FILU movement Instagram page:

For people that come across the FILU sign for the first time, they might only see the F..k and You words. I am sure that some people had that experience and got angry. However, if you look at the sign and try to read it – you will see an eye and a heart in the middle and the whole phase turns out to be a F..k Eye (I) Love You (F✌🏽CK 👁❤️YOU).

There are also negative responses to this new street art movement. I found one photo on the FILU’s Instagram page where someone removed the F word from the FILU mural in Vancouver. That person didn’t see this artwork in a positive light or as a positive message from the artist, but do you think this work or any street art should be censored? I personally don’t. In the FILU case, the F word is not offensive and is used to attract attention and empower the whole message that has a reasoning and deepness behind it. The FILU movement’s artist invites us to think rather than telling us what to think and to find connections to our own experiences. Are you moved by it?

So, should contemporary artists do street art in spite of the fact that it is still illegal?

Street art is a great way to connect people to the city and make art accessible to everyone as its made to be experienced outdoors and outside the “white cube” aesthetics. Also, due to the rise of social media, your movement followers can trace your work from all over the world. The FILU movement’s artist operates anonymously and keeps the followers guessing who he or she might be. I am surprised why almost no-one writes about this movement as it’s an amazing and unique contemporary conceptual work of art.

There are now different versions of the FILU movement street art: a sticker version, just the letters without a heart, and a rainbow-colored heart. All are amazing and I hope they are making everyone happy.

-Curator on the go

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