In a recent interview with Iggy Pop for Interview Magazine, renowned artist Shepard Fairey admits that 'For me, there has always been a disconnect with the sort of elitist structure of the high-art world--and my distaste for that is at odds with my feeling that art should aspire to do great things...I'm not saying I'm above any of this--I'm a part of it. '
This short quote grasps the complex relation between institutionalized art and art in public spaces so well, that it hardly needs any explanation. Street art has lived a while now on the brink of acceptance and it has slowly made its way to the white-walled gallery spaces. The transition from urban to confined institutional settings has not been a straight forward nor an easy one, but it seems more like a natural progression and it is a proof of the movement's maturity and evolution.
Just over a week ago Hang-Up Gallery hosted the opening of its newest show 'Wall to Wall'. Quite a challenging project, the exhibition strives to reveal that maturity and diversity of the often illicit practice of street art.
'Wall to Wall' was a far from easy to curate show. First and most important challenge to overcome during the process of curation, was to justify the fact that a generic gallery setting is and can be an acceptable surface for street art.
It is true that street art uses the city walls as its main canvas, but it also a fact that the movement has took the gallery challenge and it now resides within the white cube quite comfortably - a sign of its resilient and dichotomous nature...
To answer this, the solution was to carefully juxtapose examples of works by artists that used space as another medium with freshly painted installation created for a gallery setting. Maintaining this fragile balance was a curatorial priority.
All the works above reveal the wide spectrum of street art as a multimedia creative practice. They are examples of the movement's duality, recreated through (painted with) a vast array of materials and techniques; a blur between 'high' and 'low' culture...
Detailed shots of the installation.
The artist in front of 'Overflow'.
Some say street art is dead. We tend to disagree... Street art is not dead, it has just shed from its skin and matured to become this re-imagined, unrestricted by class and status inclusive practice, constantly pushing boundaries and provoking thoughts, communication and ideas that really matter...
'Wall to Wall' is on view 22 March - 27 April 2014