Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Street Art Exhibit That Didn't Censor (or why I love New Mexico)

Hip Hop poet/playwright Idris Goodwin teamed up with renowned graffiti artist Chaz Bojórquez in October 2010 to create New Mexico Remix, an interdisciplinary project which incorporates oral history, performance and painting into an exhibition at 516 arts. Goodwin's performance, presented with a projection of Bojórquez's mural, weaves together local sights, sounds and stories to create a multimedia experience.

Despite taking on some difficult themes, the recent street art exhibit at 516 Arts in Albuquerque didn't have to resort to censorship. The 2-month-long celebration of freedom of expression spilled over to spoken word, music and film as well as visual arts.  The gallery walls were too small to contain all the art, so the whole town collaborated. Albuquerqueans will enjoy the many new murals scattered over downtown for years to come,  none of them buffed after a few hours. 

Meanwhile, the controversy over Blu's removal from MOCA LA's street art exhibit continues.

My first foray

In honor of John T. Williams, I tried my hand at a little street art photo-graffeur-ism tonight

the original photo

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blu Buffed!

Looking at street art in a museum, or in this case on a museum’s wall, is sort of like “looking at wild animals in the zoo.” (Daniel Lahoda)
If you know anything about Blu, it's probably as incomprehensible to you as it was to me how any self-respecting curator of a "street art" exhibit could invite him to create a mural and then be shocked (shocked!) about its political message. But that's apparently what happened the other day at MOCA in LA just one day after the mural was completed, and one day before a media preview at the museum for another exhibit.

photo from unurth

If you don't know anything about Blu, his specialty is beautiful large-scale murals that often reflect local or global political themes.  Here are some favorites:

from Nicaragua, "Hombre Banano"   

Sao Paulo, Brazil

And my favorite, from Lisbon, a collaboration with Os Gemeos
Also check out his brilliant graffiti videos.