By Ed Little
Abstract: This paper delves deep into the process of ‘commercialization’ of street art while looking to question why outsiders use the label ‘commercialization’. It not only garners the opinions of Amsterdam’s most renowned street artists but also tracks the history of street art in the city and its interconnectedness with graffiti. Through contrasting the life worlds of street art and fine art, it illustrates how subcultural misperceptions originate from different value systems. Contemporary fine art strives towards profit and success (with a tinge of elitism thrown in there as well) while graffiti writers and street artists (at least at first) tend to thrive for fame and reputation. Only once street art becomes commercial do definitions and labels begin to overlap as street art starts to weigh in on the fine art commercial space. However, while street art is transitioning into new spaces and market places, this transition in reality is much more natural and organic than presupposed and thus should be seen as a positive abridgement as the subcultural life world takes its first steps into the mainstream world.