Tuesday, January 25, 2000

Graffiti art and our culture

Who said graffiti isn't art? Don't ask the curators and exhibitors at the Magidson Fine Art gallery at 41 East 78th Street. Their newest show is featuring works of three cutting edge New York-based artists with street roots. Hiroya is a rising Japanese-born and trained artist with fashion and graffiti orientations best known for his recent store installations in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. His works show examples of his vivid new abstract works on canvas.

And then there is Nemo -- who first became known during the graffiti heydey of the early 1980s under his chosen moniker of the time, Arson, and who was featured as himself in the Julian Schnabel-directed film, Basquiat, as well as his upcoming feature. His new comics-styled canvases are what he's highlighting. And Richard Hambleton, who gained notoriety in the early 1980s for a series of shadow street paintings that captured a sense of the city in those turbulent times,
is showing a series of monochromatic new paintings on canvas and linen.

Ever since the WTO Seattle riots this past December, commentary on and protest against the growing prevalence of advertising in our world (see ANE exhibit too) has been starting to sneak into the center ring of people’s minds. These artists indicate a revival of street art as social commentary. They're also already hip to The Cyber Scene but have yet to recognize the social relevance of it.