What should we say?
When something disappoints our expectations it is really easy to start to write and to criticize. However, what happens if the exposition satisfies our desires?
We were looking for a nice street art exhibition, well organized, not too big, in a nice place and able to fill the gap which there is every time that a kind of open and public art is exposed in a gallery and, this time, we have found it.
Factory 7 housed until November 18th the The pop-up street & urban art show and just the name is so promising. They decided to present various kinds of pieces, from the Mao’s portrait made by toy soldiers by Joe Black, to Banksy’s stencils, till Zeus installations, covering a huge area of a kind of art that nowadays is so rich and varied.
A warehouse near Shoreditch as the Factory 7 is a perfect location for an exhibition of this kind: the area is full of urban art pieces and is one of the most exiting zone in London for who loves stencil, sprays and sticker art. From the over-ground station a suggestive group of streets lead us to this warehouse, showing you their walls that have seen several tags and pieces on them.
When you enter to the exposition, the atmosphere is relaxed, no security, no music but the audio of a nice video made to explain what urban art is for the artists who are exposing, and a great use of the lights to show the pieces.
It is impossible to not recognise ROA’s work (Canis) near to the Mao’s portrait by Joe Black (Workers of the World,unite!) at the entrance, to see the nice pieces by Mantalgassi (Subway) who recreates portraits using some wood stick and the perspective, up to the KAN’s tribute to Banksy (Warhol tribute to an anonymous master) realised with the dot technique and a version of a rebel Gioconda by Bleck le Rat, who is considered one of the fathers of this kid of art.
Impressive are the MAC1 and RONE’s portrait (La belle noiseuse and That’s the way) which show a clear connection between the Urban and the Pop Art, and the huge Love, crash and burn by Zeus.
However the most interesting part is the second one, with the pieces by Blo, BRUSK, C215, Nick Gentry (realised with floppy discs), Ron English and Obey Giant.
To help us to understand the street artists’ point of view, we can sit on some sofas and enjoy a short and well-made video realised just for this exposition, before to get a free poster of the show, sign the guest list and go away. But you can imagine our surprise when, arrived at home, we discover that there is the .pdf catalogue of the show downloadable for free (download it here)!
What an amazing exhibition!
However, the most important concept that this show leave us is the consciousness of a kind of continuity between the street art and the previous genres what are rearranged, quoted and mixed constantly. It looks like, after several years in the underground world, in contrast with the law of the govern and of the high-culture, now the urban art is ready to be considered one of the contemporary art shapes, demonstrating that there is innovation, but knowledge and continuity too.