Nov 16, 2011

REVIEW | Beyond The Street The 100 Leading Figures in Urban Art, Patrick Nguyen and Stuart mackenzie [Eds.], GESTALTEN, 2010

Published May 2010
"There is no such thing as urban art or street art - only art itself "(Beyond the Street p.5). In my search for a book to review, I came across Beyond the Street. This is a 400 page book filled with everything affiliated with street and graffiti subculture. It includes 100 different artists, curators, galleries, festivals, magazines, and blogs that have contributed to shaping the styles and dividing high art and underground art with outdoor murals and domestic collections. Each artist or gallery are personally interviewed, allowing them to speak for themselves. This gives us a first-hand glimpse into their personalities, and also gives these artists public recognition as well as providing street credit.

Mark Jenkins, Berlin

This growing and flourishing underground scene is so diverse, and it seems every artist has something different and unique to offer. The artists that are featured in this book are artists from all over the world that have had a significant impact on the street and graffiti art world today. Gaia, Blu, and Mark Jenkins are just a small handful of artists that are featured. All the different artists work in an array of mediums, from photography, sculpture, cardboard, wood, paper, street murals, and paintings. The interesting thing about this book is that it shows artists that work in the streets and in galleries. Even though some artists have never had their work shown in an art gallery, the authors of this book chose to give them the opportunity for recognition in the art world. The authors saw the street art just as important and influential as the artists who are selling their work in auctions and galleries.

Iguapop Art Gallery

The art galleries and auction houses that are featured in this book range from widely known galleries that include very popular artists, to underground galleries that may be new to a lot of people. A few mentioned galleries that really caught my eye are the V1 Gallery, Deitch Projects, and the Iguapop Gallery.
The V1 Gallery, located in Copenhagen, represents contemporary artists working in a broad array of media, such as an installation of Richard Coleman's 'Black Diamond' series in 2008. These galleries all have one thing in common: to expose new contemporary artists, including those that focus on working on and off the streets. As the Andipa Gallery quotes: "Good art should stand the test of time and live happily amongst each other" (Beyond the Street p. 35). The Andipa Gallery, located in London, UK, deals with modern and contemporary art ranging from Matisse to Banksy.

Juxtapoz Magazine Cover, December 2011

The blogs and magazines mentioned feature different artists in order for them to showcase their work to the world "in an interactive and physical manner that doesn't have the gallery borders" (Beyond the Streets p.220). Juxtapoz Magazine is a perfect example. It is a monthly publication based in San Fransisco, California. It has a website that gets a lot of traffic, but it is also a physical magazine. On top of featuring street art, it supports and recognizes tattoo art, underground, and contemporary art.

If you are looking for a source that mentions the top artists and art galleries in contemporary street art, then this book is the place to start! Not only do you get personal insight from the artists and curators themselves, you get previews of their work, along with a short introduction and background.

-Ashley Green


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