Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Art in the Streets | MOCA, LA

I was fortunate enough to be in Los Angeles last summer for the Art in the Streets Exhibit at the progressive Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). When I was in high school, I developed an interest in graffiti. I was fascinated by the intricate way artists would form words with a unique hand style. I recall the numerous classes spent creating a hand style of my own that was both unique and worthy enough to call a tag. I'm not going to lie, I dabbled a little with the spray can in my youth. But those evenings were some of the most memorable adventures of my young life. The thrill of it all was infectious and it had a long standing influence on all of my creative endeavours.

Unfortunately, I never had the balls nor the talent to fully pursue the art of graffiti but my appreciation for the art form never died. Graffiti artists have been making waves in the mainstream thanks to numerous conscious artists like Banksy, Sheperd Fairey and David Choe. It is because of this popular recognition that a show like 'Art in the Streets' was possible. 25 years ago, graffiti was thought of as mindless vandalism but today it has reached a level of acceptance in the art community and public domain.

Below is a series of select photos that I took at the exhibit. The thrill of seeing some of the artists that I have admired for numerous years was seriously inspiring. To say that it was life changing would be an understatement and I will forever be grateful that I was able to witness my 'Mona Lisa', 'Starry Night' and 'Last Supper'. Enjoy!

Keith Haring's painted car welcomed you to the exhibit.

L: Mr. A leading the way to the bathrooms. R:Swoon's massive paper cutout piece titled 'Ice Queen'

The most controversial graffiti artist there has ever been. The often imitated, never duplicated. I'm talking about the one and only Banksy!

Certainly one of the most impressive and talked about pieces at the show. Banksy's collaboration with local school children; Stained Glass

Have you seen Animal Chin?

One of the few OG painters still doing this thing. So classic yet ahead of his time. Risk.

L: Street wear fans will know about this guy. Original Fake, Medicom & Comme des Garcons may ring a bell. Kaws kills it! R: Barry McGee has one of the most unique styles I've seen! Amazing hand style and typography work.

Hugh Holland's photos of the Z-Boys have to be the gnarliest skateboard photos I have ever laid my eyes on. The fluidity is breathtaking!

I'm not sure who inspired this madness... but I love it!

I have a personal obsession with Martha Cooper's photography. Often called the "Fairy Godmother of Graff" she was the first to document graffiti to such an extent and was integral in creating the understanding that these people were not mindless vandals but were artists! Her grittiness and humanistic style is a major inspiration for my photography #incredible.

Thanks for reading and viewing the photos. Unfortunately, I don't have photos of everyone featured (Neck Face, Mr. Cartoon, Futura, Terry Richardson, etc.). Obviously, this is something that left a lasting impression on me and is something that I am still passionate about. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did making it!



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