Street art was born in NYC during the 1970s, a time when the city was bankrupt and wracked by crime. Almost as a response to the chaos, young kids from the Bronx and Brooklyn began bombing subway cars and buildings with graffiti tags. It was an illegal and sometimes dangerous activity, but it created an art form that would spread around the world, and find its way into NYC galleries and art museums.
Now an epic new show coming to NYC will revisit the storied history of street art with contributions by just every name ever associated with the genre. Starting June 21, “Beyond The Streets” will be taking over two floors of 25 Kent, a creative hub and office space in Williamsburg. The massive exhibit debuted in Los Angeles to critical raves and features 150 artists from around the world.
The participants include graffiti pioneers such as CRASH, DAZE and FUTURA 2000, as well as artists who connected the worlds of street art and fine art—among them Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Jenny Holzer, Takashi Murakami and Charlie Ahearn, producer and director of seminal graffiti and hip-hop film, Wild Style, from 1983. Shepard Fairey puts in an appearance as the subject of a survey covering his 30-year career.
A special Beastie Boys installation featuring artifacts and ephemera from the band’s history will be there, along with a working tattoo parlor staffed by iconic New York tattooist Bert Krak, and street/tattoo artist Alexis Ross. Organized by a curator, graffiti historian, urban anthropologist and collector Roger Gastman, “Beyond The Streets” is on view for a limited time.
For more info, visit the show’s website.