Barry McGee, Todd James and Stephen Powers have joined forces to recreate their version of an urban street inside Deitch Projects' 18 Wooster Street Gallery. A liquor store, a bodega, a check-cashing outfit, and a car service dispatch office are lined up beneath a cascade of illuminated signs.
Barry McGee, Todd James and Stephen Powers have joined forces to recreate their version of an urban street inside Deitch Projects' 18 Wooster Street Gallery. A liquor store, a bodega, a check-cashing outfit, and a car service dispatch office are lined up beneath a cascadeof illuminated signs. Battered trucks, bombed with graffiti tags lie upended on the gallery floor. James and Powers spent several months scouring the streets for discarded signs and storefronts, reassembling the debris into a startling fusion of urban reality and urban fantasy.
James and Powers are inspired by the relationship between graffiti tags and advertising logos. Their street work deliberately confuses their artistic intervention with commercial signage. They have built their tags into enduring brand names. They borrow from advertising and watch as advertising borrows back.
Barry McGee brought his world to Deitch Projects in April 1999 when he covered the gallery, floor-to-ceiling, with his evocative wall murals, painted wino bottles and graffiti materiÃ¨l. In Street Market, the focus will be more sculptural, inspired by the urban phenomenon of panel trucks completely covered by layers of graffiti tags.
Barry McGee, Todd James and Stephen Powers are leading a fresh approach to public art, drawing from the various traditions of graffiti, American vernacular signage, folk art and '60s Pop. They first developed their audience on the streets - McGee in San Francisco and James and Powers in New York. More recently their work has begun to be embraced by galleries and museums, turning their "street cred" into "art cred."
Street Market is adapted from Indelible Market, an exhibit curated by Alex Baker and presented at the ICA Philadelphia last spring.
Gallery hours: 12 Â 6, Tuesday Â Saturday;
Office Hours: 10 Â 6, Monday - Saturday;
76 Grand Street, 18 Wooster Street
New York 10013