Kooling (Beads & Blossoms) came to visit for a bit about two weeks ago, and I got to monopolise her for an entire day! Our morning was spent at the ArtScience Museum, as we caught the Art From the Streets exhibition on their final weekend.
Before coming to see the exhibition, I thought that it was pretty ironic to have street art exhibited in close quarters. But this trip turned out to be very enlightening! I learnt so much about its history, prominent artists, and the forms that artists have explored so far. Here are some of my favourites, which turned out to be a substantial number of works…
The first section of the exhibit featured works from pioneers:
The second section of the exhibit displayed pieces that showed how street art evolved from tags to symbols:
Blinky Blue by Invader, 2001
Micro mosaic on panel. Invader was one of the first artists who took inspiration from video games and turned popular icons into his signature. I loved how the panels were scattered high above our eye line!
After Liquidated Logo McDonalds, Pray for the Shadow by Zevs, 2008, 2018
Logotype sign and paint. The Liquidated Logos series subverts well-known logos from their intended commercial messages through distortion.
Middle East Mural by Shepard Fairey (a.k.a. OBEY), 2009
Mixed media.The translucency of the top layer in this piece was interesting to see up close! A pity that it didn’t show clearly in the photos here.
The third section of the exhibit showed stencilled works as a fast technique that was employed by artists on the streets:
The fourth section of the exhibit, titled ‘New Writings’, explored new approaches and creative typography in the early 2000s:
Gilgamesh: The Quest for Immortality by Tarek Benaoum, 2018
Created on site at the ArtScience Museum. Benaoum trained at Toulous Scriptorium, an art school known for calligraphy and typography. The gold foil was beautiful.
Concise by Remi Rough, 2018
Created on site at the ArtScience Museum. Rough is one of the leading post-graffiti artists in the UK. He went from the old-school graffiti trend of painting on street walls and trains in the 80s, to exhibiting his abstract pieces on canvas.
Titled ‘Art of the Context’, section five showcased artists whom, now that street art is publicly-recognised, work on a massive scale and have more choices in experimenting with media as canvases:
The Wrinkles of the City by JR, 2014
Black and white photographs laminated on wood. Kooling had had actually watched a documentary featuring him, Inside Out!
Eastern Skies by Faile, 2017
Acrylic paint and silkscreen ink, spray paint on wood. I like it when artists make use of the sides of their canvases. This piece had so many interesting phrases written on them!
The final section of the exhibit involved pieces that see how contemporary artists express themselves increasingly through a combination of traditional crafts:
Outlaws of Style by Sheryo & Yok, 2018
Created on site at the ArtScience Museum. This Brooklyn-based Singaporean artist and Australian artist duo created a brilliant piece reminiscent of chinese paper cut-outs.
Photos of me by Kooling.