Whole in The Wall

Update: turns out, the work from Banksy in this show is secondary market and not direct from Banksy. Still, looks to be an interesting show.

Looks like New York’s first must-see show of the year has been announced. I don’t have much to add about Whole in The Wall with Helenbeck Gallery other than to ask “Where else can you see brand new work from Banksy, Blek le Rat, and early graffiti writers in the same place?” Just read the press release and let me know if you don’t love it.

May 29 to June 27, 2009:

“Whole In The Wall: 1970 – Now”
Largest U.S. Street Art Exhibition Debuts in NYC

Masters from the 1970s NYC graf movement (Blade, Crash, Daze, Jonone, Quik, Lee Quinones,  Rammellzee, Sharp) and European art stars (Victor Ash, Banksy, Blek le Rat, Ikon, Sozyone, Plateus) are among 19 painters, sculptors and photographers who’ve been working non-stop the last six months on new pieces for “Whole In The Wall: 1970 – Now”. It’s an unprecedented, museum-quality, 150-piece exploration of street art’s ongoing transition to, yes, fine art.

It’s not just the scale of the show that’s important. It’s presented in a lavish style only Europeans could pull off — with 17th Century antiques. This juxtaposition of authentic Luis XVI/XV furniture and crystal chandeliers in a two-story, 25,000-sf space on Manhattan’s industrial West Side puts the artists and their work in a setting Paris gallerists Chantal and Brigitte Helenbeck (Helenbeck Gallery) believe is simply . . . approprié.

The fun-loving, art-loving sisters — identical twins no less — staged a similar show in Paris in November, in which ALL pieces sold, explaining why their artists have been so hard at work). Well aware that NYC street artists command more major museum shows and higher prices in Europe galleries, the Helenbeck’s hope their dramatic presentation will inspire an elevated view of the genre in the city where it was born.

Legendary NYC graf photographers Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant will also feature works, including a new, 40-foot Cooper mural. This show also marks the 25th anniversary re-release of Cooper and Chalfant’s groundbreaking photo book of NYC transit masterpieces, “Subway Art.” (Be on the look-out for updates, including previews of new works and video interviews, including exclusive clips with Cooper, Chalfant and other artists from this show.)

Friday, May 29 to Saturday, June 27
Open 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesdays through Saturdays
529-535 W. 35th St. @ 11th Ave. (former Splashlight Studio)