Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Art zoos

As predicted, this week London is at the centre of the art world. With last night's Impressionist and Modern sale at Sotheby's fetching a record breaking £95 million (or 16% of the Gherkin) and tomorrow evening's Contemporary sale still to go (click here for a private view tour) ; one could be forgiven for forgetting that true art is priceless. Or, at least that its currency is derivative of public appreciation not private consumption.

Which must be why street art has moved from the pride of skateparks to the top of buyer's hit lists. You only need to look at Banksy on sale in Sotheby's to see how far from starving are today's best street artists. And so it is with precision timing that London's counterculture has a place to come in from the cold this week, at the just opened exhibition of urban art, In Selected Stores Only,where art from five of the best talents in the graffiti form are on display. All artists are exhibiting brand-new works in this must-see show which includes French "guerrilla artist," Space Invader, who has created nearly 100 strange, mosaic tile works (pictured here) on the streets of London. (Read a personal interview with Space Invader here).

While street artists' interventions are illegal, at least the motive in many cases is addition--to add a question or a surprise to a city street. Which is my only reservation about removing street art from the street: the act of removal. Surely guerrilla art is not suited to life in a gallery, the zoos of the art world?

In Selected Stores Only
Elms Lester Painting Rooms
1-5 Flitcroft Street, WC2
020 7836 6747
Until 24 Feb (Mon-Sat: 12-6PM, Thurs to 9PM)

13 Comments:

Blogger 62173979 said...

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5:36 pm  
Anonymous ella said...

Wow this space invader guy is so cool. How does he do the tiling so quickly though? Must read the interview!

5:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny I saw one of these just the other day by Clerkenwell Road. Awesome colour combination. Really a visual benefit. Not graffiti at all.

6:02 pm  
Anonymous honkman said...

Street art is the sign of gentrification, it is as soul decimating as corporate billboards. What other proof do you need than they sell their so-called artistic "souls" to the commercial elite that are gallery owners for the highest bidder and exposure?!

Art is personal. Be artistic. I don't need to know about it!

6:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never seen a space invader before? Where have I been?

6:08 pm  
Anonymous gayinbrixton said...

I agree. I mcuh prefer to see buildings clad in art than billboards or adverts. Why is the controversy so steep on the topic?

6:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog. Found you from the Guardian. Thanks for stimulating my daily read City Slicker!

6:36 pm  
Anonymous Dave, a script writer said...

Would love to see space invader and banksy sqaure off? surely this could settle the franco-englaise relations crisis?!

6:40 pm  
Anonymous Ben said...

great post

7:01 pm  
Anonymous bighouselittleman said...

Of course we're talking about two different things that are treated the same by the law: street art and graffiti. Street art is the wing of graf that tends to deal in stencils and stickers; more traditional graf is tag-bombing and aerosol pieces. Pixnit is a stencil street art artist – Tel is a freehand tagger. For property owners the graffiti which lands on their building, street art or not, will get them pretty upset. But unlike traditional tagging, street art will often turn a head of a passerby who finds the stencil or paste-up attractive. Street art, tagging, graffiti – whatever you want to call it – is ART in its purest form.
Take that Sotheby's, you prixe fixing scoundrels!

7:18 pm  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Give me street art over discarded chip packets and half eaten kebabs any day - littering should be the crime.

Didn't know Banksy was being sold at Sotheby's. It does seem a little counter to his manifesto. But I guess we all have our price.

Puss

8:15 pm  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Give me street art over discarded chip packets and half eaten kebabs any day - littering should be the crime.

Didn't know Banksy was being sold at Sotheby's. It does seem a little counter to his manifesto. But I guess we all have our price.

Puss

8:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:42 pm  

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