|Crochet Bomb by MAC entrance.|
Some of the artists are, as the MAC describes them, "active", meaning they are currently doing graffiti. Others are in transition, between graffiti and conventionally-exhibited legal art, and a few have left the fat caps behind and moved on. Some are simply appropriating from graffiti.
|Alan Leper Hampton & his work.|
In some cases the artists have taken the techniques of graffiti to fine art. Alan Leper Hampton used spray cans to do a large mural of a woman's face, about 3 m. tall. Alan has an MFA from USF and has exhibited in many venues nationally. His works simultaneously focuses on the importance and uselessness of art.
|Laura Spencer, "Balshazzar's Feast"|
|Rembrandt, "Balshazzar's Feast"|
|Bask, "BASK in Your Thought Crimes"|
Ales Bask Hostomsky, an emigre from Czekoslovakia, literally made a name for himself with the ubiquitous "BASK in your thought crime" stickers, which can still be seen plastered on traffic light poles on Central Ave. He participated with Tess One on a mural at Zen Glass [Link], and is apparently still active with this large tag put up recently [Link]. Bask is a painter who works with salvaged materials, as we see here, and tension, both conceptual and formal. He adopts tropes and the signifiers of various techniques like a chameleon. The American flag is a new addition to the Thought Crimes series, as is the red, white and blue. The artist seems to be imparting a sense of legitimacy and an American tradition spin to graffiti in this work, which has more than a touch of recontextualized folk art to it.
and more. This is the kind of work that deserves extended attention and contemplative observation. At one time, it is a time capsule, sarcophagus and monument to graffiti and the artists who risk arrest, fines and jail/prison time for their art.
On the left is a close-up of the interior of the fridge, perhaps the upper 1/4th freezer section.
Christian Thomas's "Gnarlyfe", in part, stems directly from an existing mural recently completed. That's the part on the left half. It is photographically collaged with bits from a mural behind a house (if memory serves), with a hole left by a .357 bullet (the whiteish part along the top edge). There's a lot about materialism in this work. A red-headed nude holds onto a blue diamond, a face makes a gagging gesture behind it. A stack of flesh-colored money peels, with pot leaves behind it.
Anna Paul is a student at Ringling who openly admits to never having done graffiti. This has not stopped her from being inspired by and adopting the formal elements of writing into her abstract work.
"Watercolors", by Tes One was the centerpiece of the show. A woman's face emerges out of a pixilated, color-tiled section in the lower right of the painting. There are sub-pixels in white, and blown-up microcircuitry around the face.
Graffiti has been around a long time. It may have been the first art form. Probably every major metropolitan area in the USA has shown graffiti artists and/or actual graffiti year ago. Congratulations to all the artists and to the Morean Arts Center for making the leap. Thank you.
We've been waiting for you.
Leave a Message: Urban Art in Florida @ The Morean Arts Center - Morean Arts Center, 719 Central Ave. Free Admission.