battle cry

I absolutely love the sound of a shaking spray can ready to burst into a splash of beautiful color on a wall or canvas. It reminds me of the incessant begging I did when Beat Street came out in theaters ten thousand years ago. “Mom, please take me. PLEASE.” She wasn’t into any of my hip-hop, graf obsessed interests, but she took me. Poor Ramo. Do you remember when he sprayed up that abandoned building apartment for him and his family to live in? That was a stretch. But, I got it, it was about the passion for what he did. My mom, on the other hand, was not convinced and worried quite a bit about my taste in art. Oh, the 80s. But street art has come such a long way since then. Two weeks ago, Crewest Gallery partnered up with Estria for a full day of art battling and it was an amazing time.

The Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle is an urban art competition that takes place annually. It was created to honor hip-hop arts and communicate social justice issues and empower communities. I’m continuously fascinated by the way street art has evolved. Thoughts?

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  1. I love street art (when it IS art and not tagging or obnoxious vandalism, like I sometimes see in my city). Thanks for sharing these lovely photos!

  2. Stunning photos. Why does the “establishment” (large scale museums, galleries with “indoor” exhibits) not embrace street art more and feature more street artists in large exhibits, in the same way they’ve embraced conceptual or performance art? Are the spatial limits as much a reflection of physical constraints as elitism?

    1. The answer to your question merits an entire socio-political essay on the origins street art and its place in society. There are many ways to work around spatial limitations.

      Bronx Museum did a retrospective years ago. MoCA’s Art in the Streets, I feel, broke down many boundaries, creating a place for street art within the history of art and our culture. I think the large attendance numbers speak for themselves. People are interested in the dialogue.

      We have a long way to go. However, the biggest and most profound moments in art history did not come without controversy. The institutions were always the last to be accepting of the latest movements.

    1. About a year ago I spotted one of André’s pieces (french graffiti artist) in Hollywood, but didn’t have a camera. Went back the next day – gone.

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