CAN? An exercise in transplanting the art of the street, and the strands of street art’s associated culture, in to the gallery environment, especially the slightly alien Vyner Street environment, our not so alien, rather uniquely positioned, corner space and our ever open street-level front door.
This time we intended filling our (almost on the street) gallery with art that’s flavoured by the influences of the street, made with the street’s (now traditional?) media – with the narks made with spray cans, the creative use of stencils, the notions of print, pop art, sticker art, painting on found things and such,
Can? is partly be about questioning what street art is, questioning if it should be in the gallery by placing it in (and around) a gallery that is very much on a street and just one step off the pavement through an open door.
Street art culture, graphic flavours, spray can marks, stencil work, sticker art, contemporary pop art, recycled and maybe even the strange notion of a paint brush or two? Can we?
CAN? A busy gallery show at Cultivate, Vyner Street, Opened to big crowds, classical sting players (and health sales) last First Thursday, May 2nd. The show runs at Cultivate until May 21st
A whole load of artists gathered together – 616, ALO, BLAKK BYRD, , BORTUSK LEER, CONSUELO CELLUZZI, CHARLIE McFARLEY, DEBORAH GRIFFIN, D7606, EMMA HARVEY, GARETH MORGAN, GARY HOGBEN, ID-IOM, INFINITY BUNCE, JULIA MADDISON, LEWIS BANISTER, LIMBO, MARIA SLOVAKOVA, MISS WAH, MYDOG SIGHS, NIKOLAI KOZIN, PURE EVIL, ROBIN DOYLE (aka WHAT HAVE I DONE NOW). SEAN VASQUEZ, SEAN WORRALL and…
A whole load of street flavours, feelings, attitudes, slices of street flavoured pop art, pop art flavoured street art, things flying out of spray cans, things painted on cans, things painted on dollars, on plasterboard, pieces of wood, slate, canvas… Things painted by those with a love of art made for the street, some who only ever paint on the street, some who never do, some who leave their work on the street, people who walk on the street, who ride on the street, who paste paintings painted on pages of newspaper on the street, who stick stickers on things, who stick things over things…. And so Can? Opened, no can opener needed, just an open door and our walls packed (too packed?) with art, with contradictions, clashes, with broken rules – “that’s not street art” Who says so? I always thought it was about having no rules, certainly wasn’t about a bag load of clichés and the same old stencils….
So Hackney based Cultivate regular CHARLIE McFARLEY shared space with Devon’s comic-book inspired ROBIN DOYLE (AKA What Have I Done Now), London’s PURE EVIL up next to Birmingham’s MISS WAH, Cultivate regulars GARETH MORGAN, MYDOG SIGHS, LEWIS BANNISTER (sometimes known as Copymeknot) alongside those like D7606 (and his phoneboxes), SIXONE SIX and London-based Spanish artist ALO, all showing at Cultivate for the first time, and then there was the leafhearts, the exclamations, those EMMA HARVEY mouths, the painterly joy of ZOE CROSSE and her Limbo-inspired portrait of a very colourful man with a spray can (with an exclamation mark on it). Brighton’s
LIMBO is up on the walls again, as are the golden creations of DEBORAH GRIFFIN. Deborah’s very big heart painting was one of the first to sell on what was a busy opening night in terms of selling – the Pure Evil artist proofs sold quickly, pieces of SixOneSix and D7606 were grabbed (as were a leafheart and an exclamation mark or two), Alo excited – “who does those?” Alo’s stylish pieces have been appearing in greater numbers around the street , Dutch artist BORTUSK LEAR got people asking questions, as did the work or respected London-based Brooklyn tattoo artist SEAN VASQUEZ.
Walls packed, too many things demanding attention at the same time, the new faces attracting the most attention, “Who does those phoneboxes?” A cat’s face on one of three MyDog Sighs cans in the show, a Bortusk Leer monster with an ice cream on last week’s Sunday Times, Audrey Hepburn in Pure Evil pink or blue, an clown-like face on a piece of wood from the ID-DOM boys, Marilyn or Lennon and pop art stamps from GARY HOGBEN attracting as much attention as anything.
Opening up smack bang in the middle of Vyner Street and First Thursday (not regarded as being officially part of the Time Our/Whitechappel Gallery run event yet again , but we’ve come to expect that now), Twenty-First consecutive First Thursday in a row on our corner, this time with added classical strings – street art in the gallery, classical musicians on the street, people inside, people outside, art on the inside and outside of walls, cello players, Stravinsky, Game of Thrones theme, things are busy, the night was always going to be busy, First Thursday crowds , knowledgeable Street Art crowd, contemporary art crowd, free beer crowd, cross pollination. Some in the know, some discovering new things, is it pop art? Is it Street Art? Does it really matter? Can opened, people came, art was explored and on we go with the exploring for three weeks…