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Group Ink: A group exhibition of graffiti and street art opens at gallery nine5
Shaka, Boxer in Movement No. 2 , Aerosol and acrylic on plywood frame, 118 x 95 3/4 x 2 3/4 in | 300 x 243 x 7 cm.

NEW YORK, NY.- Last November, graffiti art mecca 5ptz in Long Island City was painted over in an austere white in an inevitable act of censorship by the building’s owners. 5ptz had long represented a place where an art borne of repressed creativity could reside and be appreciated, but the building’s eventual submission to the mandates of the free market determined its existence too costly to maintain.

In a partial response to this act, and in celebration of graffiti art’s continuing importance within the art world and market, gallery nine5 presents as their 2014 summer exhibition, Group Ink , a group exhibition for graffiti artists and their work, which turns a “private” space over to the public sphere. Uncurated, unregulated, and unsellable, the gallery’s white walls will serve as a blank slate for graffiti artists. Participating artists come from all over New York City and the world, including, TATs CRU (Bronx, NY), Bisco Smith (Venice, CA), Shiro (Japan), KET (New York), Vor138 (Brooklyn, NY), and Rubin415 (Brooklyn, NY).

The exhibition opened on June 25 with bare white walls. Over the course of four weeks, invited artists will have the freedom to paint and tag the walls, building upon each other’s and their own pieces. At the show’s conclusion, the gallery will have been transformed into a vividly colored, vibrant space. The back room of the gallery has been dedicated to a small group show, where pieces by gallery nine5’s artists SHAKA, Alben, Tapp Francke, and Steve Ellis are available for purchase.

The show mimics a traditional artistic process, starting with a designated pristine canvas, and gradually building toward a final product. Graffiti artists work together as a collective, never negating any particular artist’s free expression, but instead allowing their work to organically enter into dialogue with each other. It reflects the liberation of street art, the ability to praise and challenge each other on neutral ground, each tag entering into an ever-escalating conversation.

With this exhibition, gallery nine5 reinforces its commitment to recognizing artistry across mediums and methodologies. Artists and viewers alike are invited to discover, explore, and contribute.

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