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“Beyond The Streets”

from artnet

Beyond Banksy: This Massive LA Exhibition Dramatically Expands the Story of Graffiti

The Roger Gastman-curated “Beyond the Streets” trains a light on the studio work of famed street artists.

Walking through “Beyond the Streets,” the sprawling, adventurous show of diverse work by street artists housed in a 40,000-square-foot warehouse north of LA’s Chinatown, the opening scene of the seminal street art documentary Style Wars flickered into my mind. In it, a group of young New York graffiti artists stand in the street anxiously waiting for a subway train to pass on the elevated tracks above them. As cars emerge from their underground lairs freshly decorated with graffiti, the artists cheer for joy—a joy not shared by aggravated commuters as the spray-painted trains continue their slow journey across the city.

In its way, “Beyond the Streets,” curated by graffiti historian Roger Gastman, marks the arrival of that lumbering journey to a new destination, one where the venue has shifted along with the assumed reaction of the urban audience.

New York in the 1970s offered little hope for its youth. Bombing the trains afforded some of them a fleeting glimpse of fame as their masterpieces trudged along the tracks. For decades, graffiti and street art remained linked to vandalism, gang violence, crime, and blight, associations deliberately cultivated by municipalities, politicians, and the media, all of whom had their own reasons for making this urban art form a visual scapegoat for the societal ills of which it was merely a symptom.

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Posted on May 20, 2018 by Editor

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