THE WRITING’S ON THE WALL: ‘Beyond The Streets” Street Art And Graffiti Exhibition At Werkartz in Los AngelesAuthor:Abigail Stone
No longer just the provenance of teenagers scrawling subversive messages on public buildings and subway cars, graffiti has crossed over from its urban blight origins into the legitimate art world.
Beyond the Streets, one of the most highly anticipated contemporary street art and graffiti exhibitions in the country, confirms this. Running through July 6th, the multimedia showcase of paintings, sculpture, photography, installations sprawls across more than 40,000 square feet of industrial indoor and outdoor space at Werkartz, a production facility transformed into a gallery space, just on the outskirts of Los Angeles’s Chinatown.
The completely immersive experience includes a full-size, playable handball court complete with site-specific artwork by famed NYC artist Lee Quiñones drawing inspiration from his lion mural in 1982; and, FAILE’s Temple, a life size construction of ceramic, steel, mosaics and prayer wheels.
Outside, a historical recreation of the Venice Pavilion, the legendary graffiti and skate destination in Venice Beach, courtesy of adidas Skateboarding, one of the exhibit’s partners, which teamed up with RISK to bring this iconic environment back to life.
The show is produced by street art historian Roger Gastman, whom Forbes characterized as making “a career of being the cultural connector between street artists and the art world” — he co-curated MOCA’s “Art In The Streets” and “Hello Kitty” shows, was a consulting producer on the Academy Award nominated Banksy-produced documentary “Exit Through The Gift Shop,” and had a hand in Dabsmyla’s “Before and Further”.
It includes pieces from some of the genre’s most vibrant and exciting practitioners, from Kenny Scharf, DAZE, Dennis Hopper, DABSMYLA, Guerrilla Girls and RETNA, to Dash Snow, Lady Pink, Jenny Holzer, Mark Motherbaugh, Mister Cartoon, Ron Finley and Takashi Murakami.
In celebration, Modernica, one of the show’s partners, has created a series of special Case Study Fiberglass chairs featuring the work of four of the artists in the show — Shephard Fairey, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and FUTURA 2000. The Shepard Fairey and FUTURA 2000 chairs are available exclusively for purchase through the Beyond the Streets gift shop. The Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat chairs, which will soon be available, may also be purchased via Modernica.
For more information and for tickets, go to Beyond The Streets