Opened: July 2020
Since ancient times, graffiti has been used as a form of political participation, democratizing the voice of the people in the streets where written messages can be seen by the masses. Today, the tradition is as alive as it has ever been.
Across the world, we’ve seen a sharp rise in political graffiti due to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmad Aurbrey, and Breonna Taylor. Protestors have hung painted signs, added their messages to walls outside of police stations, and made their mark on confederate statues across the country. In this exhibition, over 30 local graffiti artists use their diverse talents to create wearable artwork that conveys their messages of protest and tackles societal issues without having to speak a word. For example, Ticoe paints a stylized word: uhuru (freedom in Swahili), Rasterms calls out for equality, View2 urges us to fight against corruption and Ahol Sniffs Glue demands we remove statues of leaders who were murderers or slave owners.
The show will also include a wall of special prints by Futura 2000, Cey Adams, and Tristan Eaton represents the many artists around the country who are committed to maintaining an outspoken stance against racism. Additionally, we present the photography of Pablo Allison who traveled with Central Americans in their attempt to enter this country to escape poverty and violence. Allison’s work presents rare documentation of the migrant experience and includes bold protest graffiti he saw along the way. We also encourage you to interact with our site-specific installation by picking up a sign, taking a photo, and posting it to show that you stand with us and these artists in the fight against injustice.
Finally, we will be screening Transit Memorials, a “graffiti intervention” on the subway trains in New York City that reminds passengers of the victims of police violence and 526 Opportunities, a countdown from 8 minutes and 46 seconds that allows us to reflect on the fragility of life and the loss of George Floyd.
A portion of the proceeds of the sales from this show will go to Empowered Youth, an organization that teaches “real life” skills to at-risk youth in order to facilitate greater opportunities and sustained success.