It’s hard to believe that this is the first major survey of graffiti and street art.
I’d hoped this exhibit would be as energetic and free flowing as street art, itself. The artist Banksy (Exit from the Gift Shop) made the exhibit much more accessible by sponsoring free Mondays.
“I don’t think you should have to pay to look at graffiti. You should only pay if you want to get rid of it.”
But the exhibit is strangely Disney-like. Tame.
via my F’book post: My only wish is that they had an interactive exhibit…. where anyone can spray paint, doodle, or place a sticker…. isn’t that what street art is all about?!!
Some parts of the exhibit are puzzling. A room of photographs with young people felt very random. It was very hard to see their connection to street art. The aesthetic of the framing was much more Avedon than street cred.
A simulation of a New York street complete with beloved window gate comes closest to the anarchic dark energy of the streets. The grime and claustrophobia, the fake homeless man fading into began to approach the visual despair that made graffiti feel like hope.
There are several sublime murals inside and outside of the exhibit (on a bus). The women’s bathroom has graffiti so lifelike that several women doubted its cleanliness 🙂
Decide for yourself. Photographs courtesy of Adam Fox.