Peek Inside LA's Graffiti Exhibition Taking Art 'BEYOND THE STREETS'
As my team and I admired the Lee Quiñones lion handball court situated just outside a colossal building located in Los Angeles’ Chinatown district (which, by the way, you can actually play on), it was impossible to imagine the magic that laid just past the warehouse doors. We had been hearing news of the highly-anticipated graffiti exhibition BEYOND THE STREETS for months, and were itching to see expressive displays from over 50 years worth of street art pioneers for our very own eyes. Sure we've witnessed pieces from a few of these artists in shows, on the subways, in the streets, or posted online, but never had we seen a collection of work from over 100 international street artists under one roof (or under a roof at all for that matter). Easing our excitement, curator and street art historian Roger Gastman gave a heartfelt and thoughtful welcome to the venue, and it was time to step in.
One foot inside and you’re immediately immersed into the visual art form with a monochromatic offering from RETNA at the entrance side-by-side a complementary piece from Keith Haring. A few more minutes in, and you’re journeying into a labyrinth of spray paint, giant canvases, video installations, interactive rooms, massive sculpture works and so much more. Whether decorating the streets in the ‘60s or transforming the art form in the 21st century, the artists showcased in BEYOND THE STREETS are meant to be celebrated for their plentiful contributions, molding the foundation of street art and taking the artistic culture to unimaginable heights. With a list of artists like Al Diaz, Banksy, Kenny Scharf, Ron English, FUTURA 2000, SLICK, Shepard Fairey, Takashi Murakami, RISK, Guerrilla Girls, and several other talents, BEYOND THE STREETS is truly a comprehensive presentation of the very people who shaped graffiti history and have legitimized the craft outside the confines of the streets.
The Los Angeles exhibition begins May 6 and will run until July 6 (with future plans to make its way to New York). Get your tickets here for $25 and admire the works of rule-breakers and art geniuses, beyond the streets.
Words: Vanessa Feder
Photography: Shu Pan