When you think of graffiti and street art, the first thing that may come to mind is illegal activity and scribbles on dirty city street walls. To others, a larger scale, exuberant, colorful throw up on a wall is considered a masterpiece in this world. But street art in a major art gallery? That is not what comes to mind, and not even close.
Sure, this may be nothing new to you. Graffiti writers have been exhibiting in galleries since the 80’s, and as well as the infamous Style Wars movie. Clearly this is not a new concept, but what they have exhibiting at the American Fine Art Exhibit, is something slightly more provocative than simply taking subway graffiti art and putting it on canvas in a gallery.
The 12,000-foot venue typically features the biggest names in 19th and 20th century fine art. It is casual to find the likes of legends such as Pablo Picasso hanging on their walls. But this time there is a twist today the least. Surrealism and cubism got replaced with something much more bright, vivid, bold and current.
Over one hundred works are in display, including limited edition printings from some of the world’s most sought after pop artists. The admission is free but the art holds a way mightier price tag than “free”. The interesting part is that unlike in museums, the work displayed is for sale. So if you have deep enough pockets you can have it hanging in the comfort of your living room. If not, you can simply enjoy the art, and perhaps get inspired enough to purchase street art supplies. Maybe one day you too will have your art hanging in a prestigious gallery. I would not quit your day job just yet, but it doesn’t hurt to dream.
To think that artists like Banksy and Invader used to risk the pricey fines, and then even the possibility of even having to serve time in prison. All just to create their works of art! Here they are today, receiving attention from fans with works that have lots of zeroes attached to the price tag.
They did a fantastic job of including a vast ray of artist, veterans like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, as well as many street and pop artist on the up and coming. From Mr. Brainwash to DV8, everyone is bound to find something that will not only catch their eye, but move them emotionally. You would not expect to be reflecting on some of the words major issues. Just some of the work is being described as very provocative and intellectually engaging. Street art is no longer just street art, it is demanding its art and this exhibit solidifies this status.