New York’s Street Art/graffiti/public/urban art scene is poppin’ baby – new shows, new spaces opening up or rumored to be, a new fleet of artists going out to the street doing sanctioned and unsanctioned work, and new debates about what it all means to the scene and who should rush to take credit for each phase or element of it. Answer: all of us, none of us.
Also a renewed and flawed discussion has erupted again, as it periodically does, around the need to have a “critique” around street art. We know that critical observation can be useful for those who are unsure about forming their own opinions, it’s just that we advocate widening that circle of who gets to offer the critique to include, um, everybody.
We also usually trust people on the street to make their own judgements about an art piece and its value or importance in that context. The inner world and material world of art is vastly larger than we can usually imagine and our rush to measure it often hilariously misses the point or the intention of the artist, so let’s take this impulse to judge it with some humility.
In the case of graffiti and Street Art, we all have seen examples over the last half-century where educational or cultural institutions implicitly or explicitly dismiss work on the street until it has been validated by market forces. The caustic undertone of this habitual and snide dismissal can be tied directly to classism, racism, or fear of the unknown. This is a generalization of course, so take it as such, but the neo-liberal cycle of “critical thought” has been too often reserved for the dominant culture or class, and that paradigm is really of no service to any of us anymore.
The folks who put missives on the street do so with a wide variety of motivations, needs, desires, and expectations. They are perfectly happy to have their work judged by the average passerby, and in New Yawk there is never a shortage of opinions, regardless of what school you went to. In the case of art in the streets, those are the opinions that still matter the most.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Ainac, AwerOne, Bluedog 10003, Joan Tarrago, Judith Supine, Kalen Hollomon, Maki Carvalho, Pastel, REVS, Wolftits, and ZAH
Top Image >> Judith Supine is really piling on the winter layers. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Wolftits unveiled an astounding sculpture on this unused pedestal in Brooklyn this week – a three dimensional interpretation of the multi-mammaried aerosol character that normally carries the name. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Wolftits (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Barcelona’s Joan Tarrago (photo © Jaime Rojo)
ZAH (photo © Jaime Rojo)
REVS (photo © Jaime Rojo)
This is an update from a previous piece that was comprised of a framed empty pack of cigarettes. It is unclear if this is a diss or an update. Also, the word is bills. Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)
A new campaign of unsanctioned pseudo ads appeared on the NYC Subway recently and have gone undetected for days and days. With subtle replacements of limbs, Kalen likes to reassign gender or simply take peoples pants off. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Kalen Hollomon (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Pastel has a new wall in Buenos Aires (photo © Pastel)
Maki Carvalho suddenly appeared like magic in BK. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
This stencil wasn’t signed and while we see resemblances in style and technique from various artists we can’t with certainty establish authorship. Can you help? (photo © Jaime Rojo)
AwerOne in Italy showing a heavy influence by Never2501 . (photo © AwerOne)
Bluedog 10003 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Banksy… is still on New York’s mind (photo © Jaime Rojo)
AINAC (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. New York City. January 2014 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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