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The New Masters of Graffiti

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As crowds flock to LA for the biggest-ever retrospective of street art and graffiti, we showcase the artists most likely to follow in the footsteps of Banksy and Shepard Fairey.

The rise of the leading pop-art movement of our time has been somewhat improbable. From the clanging, dirty New York subways that were its first canvases to white-walled galleries in London, New York, or Tokyo, graffiti has entranced teenagers and art collectors alike. Now the movement’s birthplace is finally recognizing its most wide-reaching visual-art phenomenon with the first major museum exhibition to pay homage to the artists (or vandals, depending on your point of view) whose canvases are the urban streetscape.

"Art In The Streets", which opened last month at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, honors graffiti – and its hip young sibling, street art – with an exhibition spanning 30,000 square feet and featuring 50 artists, a number and size unprecedented in the movement’s history.

“This is the biggest show on graffiti, street art, and underground urban cultures ever executed in a museum – or outside of a museum, for that matter,” says Roger Gastman, who co-curated the show with MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch and Beautiful Losers artist and filmmaker Aaron Rose. "It has taken 40 years for anywhere to mount an exhibition of this scale, but the recognition is better late than never," says Gastman, author of The History of American Graffiti, published last month.

He hopes the show will “open up the eyes of stuffy museums and galleries and attract art critics, historians and collectors who might otherwise not have taken a second look. It’s time they took it seriously, and acknowledged how culturally important this movement has become.”

For the full story pick up the June Red Bulletin Magazine.

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