Forget about the Whitney Biennial, the show to see this summer is “Beyond The Streets.” Brilliant and impeccably installed. Kudos to all involved but especially to Roger Gastman.
It opened yesterday (June 21) on two floors of a still-under-construction building on the Brooklyn waterfront. (And yes, I get the irony of having just written that Brooklyn was over and here I am raving about this show that’s not only in Brooklyn but smack dab across from that horrid William Vale Hotel.)
Be that as it may, Beyond The Streets blew me away. It was curated by Roger Gastman, the renowned graffiti historian. It comes to us from LA. and will undoubtedly travel to other cities once its run in NY is over at the end of August.
Even if you are not a street art fan, there is much in this show to appreciate. The way Gastman connects the artists, their style, the politics with the urban environment itself, is thought provoking and utterly enthralling. And it’s installed beautifully over two floors (100,000 square feet). Money was clearly not an issue.
Also fascinating to see how street art has evolved. Major culture shift evident with many of the 150 artists featured in this show now in major contemporary art collections around the world, e.g., Barry McGee, Jose Parla, Swoon, Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, Mark Gonzales.
Even the gift shop through which you must exit is fabulous, and sales were brisk while I was there. Many of the guys I spoke to, made the gift shop their first stop to make sure they were able to get the limited edition items they wanted.
Sponsors for the show include Adidas, Perrier, Modernica, Montana Colors, NPR, NTWRK, Twenty Five Kent and WNYC.
The show is too good to pick favorites, but three standouts include the functioning tattoo parlor by Bert Krak & Alexis Ross, the entire gallery representing a group of Japanese artists including Madsaki and Takashi Murakami, and Bill Barminski’s re-creation of an entire living room and its contents in cardboard (absolutely bonkers!!!).
Get your tickets online ($25). It runs through August. And if this is your thing, make sure you follow Beyond The Streets on Instagram.
Scroll down for photos of my best of the best.
YES, it is in one of those brand new glass towers but don’t let that deter you from seeing this brilliant show.
Installation by HuskMitNavn
Wall of vintage spray cans
Bast & Paul Insect Puppets
Installation by husband-and-wife team known as DABSMYLA – in collaboration with floral designer Amelia Posada (Birch and Bone)
Interior of trash records
MAGIC TOUCH (Tattoo Parlor) by Bert Krak & Alexis Ross – celebrates the creative follies of Canarsie homeowners from the late 20th century
Bill Barminski installation re-creating the living room of Mark Isbin in cardboard
Onto the 5th floor
Installations by a group of Japanese artists
Perrier sponsor booth
Exiting Through The Gift Shop
And that’s it for today. I will be back.