Years active: 1952 - 1972
The founder of Letterist International and eventually Situationist International, Guy Debord was one of the members who went out on the streets of Paris during May 1968 riots to write revolutionary poetry on the walls. Letterist International and Situationist ideas, particularly Situationist International's founding text written by Debord in 1957, have informed and inspired many street artists. Debord and his cohorts used "détournement" in much of their work, the practice of re-appropriating content to subvert it (think a McDonald's billboard modified by Ron English or Shepard Fairey's use of political propaganda). And while today artists try to intervene in public space, that practice can be traced back to the actions of the Situationists and Debord's idea of creating "situations."