The Must-See Graffiti Event in LA

The Must-See Graffiti Event in LA

An installation showcasing the importance of the spray can in the birth and evolution of graffiti art.

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Why you should care

Because there’s a new Banksy to check out.

Back in 2011, graffiti and street art culture exploded into the mainstream during the exhibition Art in the Streets, which opened in Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). This was the first showcase of its kind and magnitude, and helped bridge the divide between what some saw as “illegal activity” and others accepted as a unique art form. Seven years later, graffiti and street art figures such as Shepard Fairey (Obey), Banksy and RETNA have moved into galleries and prestigious museums worldwide.

One of the people responsible for this crossover is Roger Gastman, who had a seminal role in putting together Art in the Streets. He returns with Beyond the Streets, featuring the work of more than 100 artists in a 40,000-square-foot warehouse. The exhibition showcases the evolution of graffiti and street art as well as highlights its importance in modern culture. Tracing lineages back to the 1960s, it expands on different eras and on the various personalities that have continued to keep the graffiti and street art tradition alive.

Here’s a look at the Beyond the Streets exhibition, which runs from May 6 to July 6 in Los Angeles.

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Roger Gastman, a well-known historian of graffiti culture, curated the first Art in the Streets exhibition at LA’s MOCA in 2011. He’s also the co-author of The History of American Graffiti.

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Artist Ron English likes to reference pop culture iconography and repurpose it to give it new meaning. He has been part of the street art movement since the 1980s.

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One of today’s most popular artists in the street art scene, Banksy unveils a brand-new piece that references Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump.

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Artist Maya Hayuk’s work is defined by a geometric style of colorful patterns, often appearing in large-scale murals and installations.

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The Beyond the Streets exhibition features various installations that recreate the real-life feel of graffiti art on the streets.

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Shepard Fairey, the man behind Obey, is photographed in front of his artwork for the Beyond the Streets exhibition. Fairey is known for his breakthrough social art campaigns as well as creating the Barack Obama Hope poster in 2008.

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An important part of graffiti is the documentation of the artwork. This display showcases how photography helps keep the art form alive.

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Darryl McCray (also known by his tagging name, Cornbread) from Philadelphia is often credited as the first modern graffiti artist.

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The exterior of the Beyond the Streets exhibition features a replica of the well-known Venice Pavilion site, a legendary graffiti and skateboarding landmark.

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