This show couldn't fail with the talent that's involved, and in parts it is really great. The Os Gemeos, Barry McGee and Steve Powers sections stood out for me. Banksy's section is good; it's great to see the classic stencils mixed in with newer pieces (for me it's really special to see the simple stencils that first got me into street art in London - 'Buried treasure'
and 'This is not a photo opportunity'
). This show will go down as an important event, and it will help broaden recognition of street art.
But Art in the Streets
is a missed opportunity: the show focuses so heavily on graffiti that it ignores so many of the important street artists that have been active in the last 10 years, without whom this show would not have happened. The 'street art movement' of the last 10 years is minimally represented; of the hundreds of artists that have appeared on Unurth, only about 12 are represented in this show (of ~95 total). Some people say that's necessary to give a historical perspective; but it's hard to make that case when the most important influence (Blek le Rat) on the most acclaimed artist in the show (Banksy) is absent.
And the Blu debacle
matters; the show is much poorer for his absence, and the spirit that he represents.
The Banksy gallery:
Shepard Fairey, Neckface, Kaws, Swoon, Andre, Retna
Keith Haring, John Fekner, Steve Powers/ ESPO, Barry McGee, Amaze, Futura
Roa, Space Invader
MOCA's information on the show
Stencils + porcelain. See more by Nespoon
Building on his Love Letter project in Philadelphia
, Steve Powers and his crew moved on to Syracuse to transform what has been a colossal barrier between two disparate neighborhoods into a point of interest, a gathering spot, and a conversation.
Powers’ hand-painted signs draw on years of his own work as a painter and graffiti artist, but also on a long tradition of making, advertising, and handcrafting. Coming to Syracuse, a city that exemplifies the model mid-size, post-industrial rustbelt city under reinvention, is part of a national movement of change, a Rustbelt Renaissance, driven by a creative economy.
“The goal of the project is to ultimately bridge the Near Westside community to downtown, which will give access to new markets and resources for residents in the neighborhood,” says Maarten Jacobs, director of the Near Westside Initiative.
Follow the progress of this project on the official site
artist: Steve Powers / ESPO