Graffiti, spray art, urban art — whatever you call it, the dizzying colors, mind-bending designs and in-your-face polemics of the street art of the past 40 years is getting a full-fledged retrospective through June 3 at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore.
Pulling together pieces from iconic “taggers,” including pioneers such as New York’s subway-graffiti legend Crash; globally recognized artists such as Shepard Fairey, famous for his colorful Obama portrait; and new talents, including Portugal’s Vhils, the museum’s “Art from the Streets” exhibit traces the evolution of this defiant means of expression from its rebellious roots — originally seen as vandalism — to its acceptance as a contemporary art form.
“Art genres that are ephemeral and anti-institutional can sometimes be overlooked by museums because they’re so difficult to present within the environment of a gallery,” says Honor Harger, executive director of ArtScience Museum. “We wanted to document this important global art movement in a serious and considered way while conveying its energy and spirit.”
Capturing the ephemeral
A series of galleries featuring large-scale murals, installations, videos and sketches takes visitors through the various techniques that street artists have employed, as well as the technology they’ve embraced along the way. To showcase pieces that by their very nature are fleeting, HP — one of the exhibit’s sponsors — printed nine massive, wall-size murals of street art from around the world using the HP Latex 1500 Printer.