All the World’s a Canvas at Graffiti Art Exhibit

September 01, 2011 at 8:02 am

In recent years, “street art” has gradually begun replacing “graffiti” in the popular lexicon.

Street artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey have become household names.

But practitioners of the form — which came of age on city walls in the 1970s and ’80s — have branched out in wild directions to keep street art fresh and genre-defying.

The spirit of contemporary street art by Latino, Caribbean and Latino-American artists will be on full display at Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance this fall, in an exciting exhibit that’s part of El Museo del Barrio’s sixth bi-annual exhibition series, the “(S) Files.”

On display you’ll find pieces that move beyond the the classic application of paint to wall, and imaginatively re-use ephemeral objects from everyday urban life. Garbage bags, trash, postage stickers and street signs become both mediums and canvases.

Click on the images below to see some of the street art that will be on display:

“It’s an interesting mix, looking at artists inspired by historical street gestures, but most of them have graduated to something different,” explains Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, one of three curators for the exhibit.

For example, Carlos Rodriguez, better known by his tag MARE139, grew up a decade after the first generation of New York City graffiti artists. Rodriguez’ became increasingly concerned with the three dimensional aspects of graffiti, and eventually sculpture, said Aranda-Alvarado. His work, which will be shown at the exhibition, involves sculpted pieces, inspired by the movement of letters.

“We were thinking of ‘street’ in the most broad sense, even inspired by artists who did performances in the street or public acts or got their materials from the street,” said Aranda-Alvarado.

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