It’s safe to say GHOST’s legendary status in the lore of NYC subway graffiti’s past was not achieved with some self-consciously plotted career path to art world success. In fact, GHOST was more concerned with the transgression than the aesthetics of letters at the time- and transgress he did. He hated the preciousness of some writers, and attributes his loose, un-planned, flowing style --that persists to this day-- to needing to get up and get away. When he later took to drawing, he elaborated on his own aesthetic and dark humor by creating crazily inventive and irreverent possibilities for his letters and characters. Soon after, he merged these ink apparitions with his street-borne skills as a colorist, and has continued to enjoy a level of facility and mastery of these forms for some time now—and without the level of risk of the old days.
But there is something of the old intensity--a visual measure of the lengths he was and is willing to go- that marks this recent abstract work. Something has broken through and broken free. The mastery and confidence is there, even the taunting, graphic lines of the old character/letter mutation, but something has happened in this push though into complete abstraction. Kaleidoscopic forms that both forge and break their ties to graffiti undulate in front of a moody, murky atmosphere that conjures the dark smudge of old New York or an unconscious at home in dank spaces of the cities’ underground. The urban, otherworldly space he has created, fore grounded by the glimmering, twisting forms viscerally pushing to the front, signal a startling originality and immediacy characteristic of GHOST’s infamous work of old—embarking on completely new territory.
Exhibition offers new works by famed NYC graffiti artist opens September 15, 2011
Inspired by tragedy, love and New York City.
Long Island City, NY —Opening September 15th, the Aurora Gallery is proud to host an all-new series from renowned New York City graffiti artist and muralist Hector “Nicer” Nazario. The series, entitled “Like a Child at Play,” began taking shape after the tragic death of Nicer’s only child by a stray bullet in the Bronx in July 2010. Each piece in “Like a Child at Play” features painted works interpreting Nicer’s childhood memories of growing up in New York.
FEATURING FRED BRATHWAITE AKA FAB 5 FREDDY, LEE QUINONES AND LEONARD MCGURR AKA FUTURA 2000 WITH GUEST CURATOR PATTI ASTOR
Subliminal Projects is proud to present its opening fall show 3 Kings, on view September 17 through October 8, 2011. In classic NYC Subway Graffiti lore, a "King" is one who has achieved the most recognition for not only excellence in style but for the mark they have made on the culture. For over thirty years these "3 Kings" have been at the top of the game. Their history-making rise to international prominence from the subway tunnels of New York City was recently chronicled in MOCA's "Art In The Streets" exhibition. At Subliminal Projects they will be presenting their contemporary work created exclusively for this exhibition along with classic pieces. Please join us at a reception for the artists on Saturday, September 17, from 8-11p.m.
Fab 5 Freddy is well known as Hip Hop's ambassador to the world. His early work with Blondie on the hit "Rapture," his creation of the seminal film "Wild Style" (directed by Charlie Ahearn) and his groundbreaking shows at the FUN Gallery brought graffiti art, rap music and break-dancing to the big stage. He would go on to co-produce and host "Yo, MTV Raps!", the first show to regularly feature this culture on TV. Starting with his famous "Campbell's Soup Can" subway car homage to Andy Warhol, Fred has been at the vanguard-- and his new work is no exception.
Lee Quinones is generally recognized as the greatest graffiti artist of all time. His ten whole car train with the Fabulous Five is a feat that has never been matched. Lee was also the creator of the graffiti writers' creed, "If art is a crime, let God forgive me." From his first show at the FUN Gallery in 1982 "Rust-O-LEEum", he has never looked back, expanding his painting in extremely sophisticated ways while often including a touching look at the past.
Futura 2000 had his first one man show at the FUN Gallery in 1981 and with his unique, ethereal style became one of the FUN's most successful artists. He was instrumental in bringing graffiti art to Europe and beyond with rock group The Clash, painting back drops on tour and designing album art. Futura was also one of the first artists to work with manufacturers of transformer figures and clothing designs. His otherworldly new work is always eagerly awaited.
In 1981, Patti Astor was famous as "The Queen of The Downtown Screen". Having worked with such directors as Amos Poe, Jim Jarmusch and Eric Mitchell, she was starring in her 12th beyond low budget "No Wave Cinema" film, UNDERGROUND USA, (the punk rock Sunset Boulevard), enjoying a six month run as the midnight movie at the St. Mark's Cinema. Fab 5 Freddy (Fred Brathwaite) had come downtown to check it out and so the "King of Uptown" met the "Queen of Downtown".
Unbelievably at that time no one in the downtown Mudd Club scene had ever heard of graffiti art, break-dancing or rap. However, that was soon to change. With partner Bill Stelling, Patti opened FUN Gallery, the first art gallery in NYC's East Village. From 1981-1985 this gritty tenement storefront was the epicenter of the early 80's cultural explosion in art, music and dance. With Fab 5 Freddy leading the way, downtown punk rock met uptown hip-hop. English rockers The Clash and the Sex Pistols partied with Futura 2000 and the Rock Steady Crew, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf traded tags with DONDI and LEE and Jean Michel Basquiat spun platters with Afrika Bambaata, everyone rocking to the box at the FUN, while renowned collectors, art historians and museum directors joined in the party.
Though the FUN Gallery's duration was brief, the barriers had come down and the art world would never be the same.
Join these longtime friends and veterans of the most important cultural explosion of the last thirty years at our fall exhibition 3 Kings.
After the successful opening of GOSSIP WELL TOLD in London this past July, the exhibition has been invited to take over a section of the Warrington Museum and Art Gallery as part of the first Warrington Contemporary Art Festival this September. The Warrington Museum and Art Gallery’s first ever contemporary arts festival this month celebrates emerging and acclaimed artists and performers from September 24 to October 29, 2011.
Having been presented with the honour of bringing this exhibition to a Museum setting, ‘Gossip Well Told’ has taken the opportunity to expand on its roster to include such artists as Berliner Jaybo, Australias Anthony Lister & London’s finest D*FACE.
GOSSIP WELL TOLD, Curated by Frankie Shea & Tina Ziegler Exhibiting Artists: Alex Fakso, Anthony Lister, Ben Eine, Case, Cheryl Dunn, Dabs & Myla, D*FACE, Herakut, Faith47, How & Nosm, Jaybo, Kaws, Luke Chueh, Phil Frost, Swoon
Gossip Well Told exhibits new and original artworks and installations by internationally recognised artists from a movement spawned through word of mouth, a movement that brought colour to the streets of the world’s most exciting cities and spread like wildfire via the internet. This is a scene fuelled by the artists and lovers of the art itself. It has received little support from the conventional British art establishments and is only now beginning to receive the wider attention and credit it deserves in the UK with Warrington Museum making the first big step by inviting these artists to fill its white walls. An innovating, DIY mentality of not waiting to be invited is the philosophy that has built the scene and made it what it is today. GOSSIP WELL TOLD brings to Warrington the most progressive, talked-about work on the art wires right now and will offer a taste of what can be expected at this year’s 2011 edition of Moniker Art Fair.
Opening Reception: Friday, September 23rd. 19:00. Exhibition on show: September 24th to October 29th 2011
Warrington Museum & Art Gallery Cultural Quarter. Museum Street. Warrington, WA1 1JB