Beyond the Streets, a show exhibiting the work of celebrated artists who spent years illegally working on the streets, first opened in Los Angeles last year.
It’s curator, Roger Gastman, has now opened a second iteration of Beyond the Streets in Brooklyn, NY, where visitors get to view the work of over 150 street artists from around the world.
Gastman, a well-known graffiti historian and “urban anthropologist” is known not just for these shows, but also for co-authoring books on street art and co-producing films like Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop.
Two floors of wall-breaking art
You can check out this latest show, including conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, feminist art collective Guerrilla Girls, Shepard Fairey, and Takashi Murakami, at the new 25 Kent Avenue space on the edge of Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
The art takes up two whole floors of the space and also offers sculptures, works on canvas and, immersive installations alongside a Beastie Boys installation featuring “artifacts and ephemera” from the band’s 4-decade history, a functioning tattoo parlor by Bert Krak & Alexis Ross and a room of puppets made of trash by Paul INSECT and BAST.
Gastman has long had a passion for celebrating art that was first done illegally under the cover of night. In recent years, developers that are changing cities have desired officially sanctioned murals around as a way to “clean up the neighborhood.”
But the artists in these shows are ones who broke the rules, shaped what we know as street art, and, at times, paid the price for pioneering the way, says Gastman. Though many of them now have their own profitable studio practice, their beginnings were anything but.
“You know, this culture—which was started by youths writing their names over and over again for the sake of fame and fun and notoriety—has ballooned into a worldwide cultural phenomenon,” says Gastman in an interview with Artnet.
“So many of the pioneers are still with us today. A lot of them are getting older. But let’s learn from them. Let’s respect them. And let’s preserve the history as much as we can while they’re with us, before it’s too late.”
The exhibition opened up on June 21st and will remain open until the end of August this year. If you’re not able to make it to Beyond the Streets NYC, you can see the artists’ work on the website. They’re worth checking out, even if not in person.