Even with street art reaching new standards and popularity over the past few years, we’re still yet to be convinced about the true merits of graffiti.
That said, this latest exhibition from photographer couple and author of Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York, James and Karla Murray, looks set to challenge our opinion.
Entitled MOM and POPism and located on the roof of online media company Gawker Media's HQ in New York, the show highlights the changing face of New York City in a unique symbiosis of street art and photography.
Sponsored by Gawker Artists, an online artistic community and curated by renowned New York graffiti artist Billi Kid, the exhibition consists of a series of close to life-size photographic canvases shot by the Murray’s of a variety of ethnic, time-worn store fronts from New York’s various neighbourboods. The expansive canvases have then been left to a variety of graffiti artists including Blanco, Cake, Lady Pink and Zoltron, to deface at their leisure.
The result is an energetic synthesis of painting, photography, collage and graffiti. Combining the high-shine cartoon aesthetic of the street art with the grubby true-to-life look of the storefronts.
The show is an understated critique of New York City’s ever-altering façade and the places, people and artists that have shaped its creative culture - a culture which James and Karla Murray believe to be slowly slipping away at the hands of neglect and homogeny.
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Harriet Lloyd-Smith was the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.
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