The Museum of the City of New York saves the seeds of a culture

March 10th, 2014 | By | 2 Comments »
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Mural by Daze behind a display of spray cans. Photo by gsz.

Well, really, the headline here isn’t entirely accurate. The artist and collector Martin Wong saved the seeds of a culture, and then donated his collection the Museum of the City of New York. And then the museum mostly kept those seeds hidden away for about twenty years. But now the museum, with the help of curator Sean Corcoran and others, has brought those seeds back into the spotlight for a new generation to learn from. Of course, I’m talking about City as Canvas, the new show at the Museum of the City of New York, and the seeds I’m talking about are the seeds of modern graffiti.

The back story behind City as Canvas is pretty great. Wong, a painter who lived in NYC’s East Village in the 80′s, was noticing graffiti and as he met some of the men and women behind it, he began supporting the young writers by buying their work. Eventually, that turned into a major collection of work by New York train writers like Sharp, Daze, Lee, Futura and many more. Wong even tried to open his own “Museum of American Graffiti” in 1989, but it didn’t work out. Still, Wong had amassed something special and unique that captured a very important time period for graffiti as artists transitioned from trains to canvases and teenagers to adults, and as graffiti itself spread from New York City to the rest of the world. Eventually, he donated his collection to the Museum of the City of New York. Those are the basics, but really, the story of Wong’s collection has already been told very well and in more detail in the New York Times, so do check out that article.

As for the show itself…

Read the rest of this article »


Category: Featured Posts, Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

City as Canvas: A rare collection on view soon in NYC

January 29th, 2014 | By | No Comments »

city_as_canvas

One of the greatest early supporters of graffiti artists was Martin Wong, a painter who lived in New York City during the city’s Golden Age of graffiti. Wong collected the work of young artists working outdoors like Lee Quinones, Rammellzee and Keith Haring. Wong’s collection is perhaps the best existing set of artworks that together give a sense of modern graffiti’s early days in the city where it (effectively) began. In the mid-90′s, Wong donated the whole thing to the Museum of the City of New York. It’s a collection that early writers often tell me about with a sense of wonder, and they always suggest that I have a look at the collection because I could learn a thing or two from it. Now, works from the are about to be exhibited publicly at the Museum of the City of New York for the first time.

City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection opens next Tuesday the 4th at the Museum of the City of New York. I’m excited to see so much early work (nearly 150 pieces) in person, and to hopefully get a sense of how Wong saw the early graffiti scene. In addition to some early canvas work by artists like Lady Pink and Daze, the collection includes a subset of work that should be particularly interesting for those of us interested in the history of graffiti: perhaps the only collection of blackbook sketches in a museum possession. The show also includes a new short film by Charlie Ahearn and photographs by Ahearn, Martha Cooper, Jack Stewart and Jon Naar. In case it’s not already obvious, let me just state that this sounds like it will be a must-see exhibition for graffiti geeks.

The show is accompanied by a new book by Carlo McCormick and the show’s curator Sean Corcoran.

City as Canvas opens February 4th and runs through July 27th.

Photo courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York


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Weekend link-o-rama

April 27th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

Jack Murray aka Panik ATG

Exciting week next week: Troy Lovegates and Labrona will be coming to Haverford to paint a mural here, so look forward to some pictures of that… If I find the charger for my camera. Also, I’ve taken the plunge and I’m finally on Instagram. Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

Photo by Jack Murray


Category: Art News, Books / Magazines, Festivals, Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nose Job group show at Eric Firestone Gallery

July 15th, 2011 | By | No Comments »

Shepard Fairey

A group show with a unique and possibly interesting twist is opening today at Eric Firestone Gallery in East Hampton, New York. Curated by Carlo McCormick, Nose Job featured a variety of artists working on old airplane parts, primarily nose cones. The line up includes street artists like Swoon and Shepard Fairey, graffiti artists like Futura and Mare139 and more mainstream artists like Richard Price and Raymond Pettibon. Here’s the full line up… Aiko, Dan Colen, Peter Dayton, Viejas Del Mercado, Jane Dickson, Shepard Fairey, Futura, How & Nosm, Juan James, Ryan McGinness, Tara McPherson, Raymond Pettibon, Richard Prince, Lee Quinones, Carlos (MARE 139) Rodriguez, Retna, Saner, Kenny Scharf, Shelter Serra, Swoon, JJ Veronis and Aaron Young.

Nose Job opens today and runs through August 21st. Here’s a little preview of what to expect…

How and Nosm

Retna

Photos courtesy of Eric Firestone Gallery


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Ask Lee Quinones a question at the NYTimes

March 2nd, 2010 | By | No Comments »

The New York Times is given you a chance to ask graffiti legend and talented fine artist Lee Quinones (aka Lee) a question. I don’t get star-struck often, but he was at the Primary Flight opening in Miami last year, and I just froze up whenever I caught sight of him, this guy is a legend. Just go to their website and post a comment on the article to ask your question. The first set of questions will be answered on Wednesday.

There are a lot of people commenting already. One of my favorites is from Anne. She asks, “Since it appears you have profited as a result of your graffiti art, have you made any effort to pay restitution to the city or other property owners of locations you vandalized?” That’s probably the most inteligent way I’ve ever heard somebody ask a graffiti artist how they feel about coming from an illegal art movement into something legal that profits from those illegal actions. Much better than how Nolane put it.

Via I Love Graffiti


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