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The State of Art

Martinez Gallery, New York

comunicato stampa

Classic Works of Urban Art

The State of Art, in collaboration with Martinez Gallery, is pleased to announce "The Painted Word: Classic Works of Urban Art," an exhibition curated by Franklin Sirmans. Urban culture, today's Pop culture, has become internationally recognized through music. Although, this currency is obviously seen in Hip Hop, the trend exists in film, dance, theater, and virtually on the net.

While there are various and disparate forms of artistic exploration that relate to urban culture and its increasing influence, examining the genre of Graffiti art is particularly useful in reading that culture. Bringing together artists across three generations, including Case 2, Henry Chalfant, Coco 144, Crash, Fab 5 Freddy, Keith Haring, Lady Pink, Mösco, Phase 2, Sol Sax, Sharp, and Zephyr, among others. The exhibition juxtaposes painting, documentary photographs, sculpture, and conceptual art works, to provide a saturated visual experience.

Concentrating on New York City from 1970 to the present, The Painted Word, demonstrates the transitions of the last three decades with groundbreaking works of art by artists who have infiltrated our physical cityscape and our emotional body politic. While the emphasis is on the local, these artists are clearly mapping their own terrain within a global landscape. Many of the artists have shown internationally and all are acutely aware of their surroundings. The common thread throughout the exhibition is the generosity on the part of these artists to question the architectural realms of public and private audiences in order to present their work to a broad audience.

Taking the spirit of Graffiti as it originated, often under physical duress, artists like Tracy 168 and Lee Quiñones bring that energy to the enervating lines of their canvas paintings. The exhibition also demonstrates the existential quest for identity associated with New York graffiti since Julio 204, in the late 60s, first marked his name and home base. Coco 144 has continued to explore his name with organic abstractions of the letters "c" and "o". The influence of popular media can be seen in Fab 5 Freddy's pivotal reworking of Warhol's soup cans spray painted on the number 5 train and in Kenny Scharf's restructured cartoons. Others, such as Valerie Tevere take a conceptual approach, in producing art with the helping hands of the general public. Sol Sax's adorned figurative statues look just as at home on the streets of Brooklyn as they do within the confining walls of the gallery. The influence of hip hop music bubbles right under the surface of many of the works on view, and is especially evident in the syncopated rhythms of Mico's geometric color patchworks and Phase 2 and Mösco's complex explorations of hard-edged zig-zagging lines.

The Painted Word seeks to resuscitate a genre of art that has been lacking in contemporary art circles. It is our feeling that its energy and artistic dialogue has been sorely missing.

The State of Art gallery is focused on artists who are addressing age old questions "within the context of modern life", artists who address elemental issues of contemporaneity in our world.

The Painted Word: Classic Works of Urban Art

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Case 2
Henry Chalfant
Coco 144
Fab 5 Freddy
Flint 707
Phil Frost
Keith Haring
Lady Pink
Phase 2
Riff 170
Sol Sax
Kenny Scharf
Jack Stewart
Tats Cru
Tracy 168
David Wojnarowicz
Joe (Ezo) Wippler

Maps of illegal murals as well as the execution of an outdoor mural, a panel discussion and DJs will be incorporated within the program.

For more information, please contact: 718 349 7250 /

Gallery Hours: 12 PM - 6 PM, Wednesday - Sunday
Opening: Saturday, June 17th, 6:00PM - 12:00AM

Martinez Gallery
113 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, NY 10001
t 718 349 7250

Self Potrait
dal 21/6/2006 al 2/9/2006

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