Beyond The Streets

Being an artist I’m always on the prowl for anything that inspires me to think outside of the box when it comes to technique, style or concept that I might want to incorporate into my drawings. Though in most cases I rarely do to be in the presence of another artist’s incredible work stimulates my mind at the moment in thinking how could I get that same feeling into my drawings. I always carry my iPad or iPod with me when I go to museums and galleries to document what I’ve seen and also to remind me certain aspects of art work I might want to use in the future.

That said, I want to share with you an incredible exhibition that I went to recently and if you’re in NYC I recommend to all artists and lovers of contemporary art to rush over to Brooklyn, Williamsburg specifically, to see Beyond The Streets @beyondthestreets.com. 25 Kent Avenue

Here’s the description from their website:

BEYOND THE STREETS celebrates society’s most pervasive mark makers and rule breakers with unprecedented purpose and scale. The exhibition explores the collective urgency of using the street as a canvas for expression. People have long taken to the streets to share a name, phrase, image or cause with the world around them to force a public discourse. Streets act as the symbolically important public stage that is both local and universal, the bedrock for both public protest and anonymous action. While the subject matter varies and the mediums are many, it is in the public sphere where these messages find a home.

I initially approached this exhibition with my preconceived knowledge of graffiti art since I lived through the 70s-90s in New York City surrounded by it and being condemned by everyone in the city. What I saw shattered every bias I’ve had about it and came away with more respect to the founders of the art and the artists that followed. I have to admit that, for me, it is one of the most exciting and stimulating shows that I’ve seen this year. I think that being a graphic designer it also opened my eyes more to how graphic and bold and the risk-taking that this genre of art has on influencing illustrators like me. I am a big fan of Shepard Fairey’s art and seeing his works were so exciting, stimulating and very provocative. There are so many other incredible artists and their works displayed for me to write here but go and discover them and be more informed on their contribution to today’s contemporary art scene.

It is a HUGE show! It took me close to 2 hours to view just the first floor! Visually, it was everything I love in an exhibition. There’s more on the second floor that also includes a store selling print, t-shirts and clothing, souvenirs and many more. The show runs through August.

And while you’re in Williamsburg you should walk around and enjoy the abundance of shops and restaurants in the neighborhood.

I’ve attached a tiny segment of the show which in itself doesn’t show you the scope of this show. I highly recommend that you see it before it ends. You won’t be disappointed!!!!

BEYOND THE STREETS is located at 25 Kent Ave, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The entrance is on North 12th between Wythe and Kent Avenues. The show is located right next to the Wythe Hotel, William Vale Hotel, and Brooklyn Bowl.

Till next time, Mahalo and Aloha!

Leonard