From defiant train writers to powerful large-scale muralists, Saatchi Gallery
opened Beyond the Streets London, this February. The exhibition is the most comprehensive graffiti & street art exhibition to open in the UK, and has taken over all three floors of Londons iconic Saatchi Gallery.
Following successful exhibitions in Los Angeles & New York, Beyond the Streets London features new works, large-scale installations, original ephemera and extraordinary fashion that capture the powerful impact of graffiti & street art across the world.
Curated by graffiti historian Roger Gastman, Beyond the Streets London examines the fundamental human need for public self-expression, highlighting artists with roots in graffiti and street art whose work has evolved into highly disciplined studio practices, alongside important cultural figures inspired by this art scene.
Each of the exhibitions chapters explore exceptional moments in the history of this artistic movement; including the emergence of punk; the birth of hip-hop - marking its 50th anniversary in 2023; and street cultures strong influence in fashion and film.
About the Exhibition:
Upon entering Saatchi Gallery, visitors will explore the graffiti-filled installation The Vandals Bedroom by American artist Todd James, whose works have been exhibited twice at the Venice Biennale.
In the first chapter Music & Art Converge, visitors will explore the socio-political turmoil of the late 70s and 80s, where the decline of cities met artistic resistance, a shift which was felt in both the US and UK. Youth culture responded by painting graffiti on walls and public transport, creating art that reflected and reimagined the times in an explosion of expression on the streets. It was about identity in the face of oppression, self-awareness, and self-discovery in a moment of a depleted economic outlook.
Through music and art, London meets New York, featuring works including FUTURA2000s legendary 30 ft. painting, made on stage with The Clash, displayed along with the unparalleled contributions from Malcolm McLaren, MODE2 and American photojournalist Martha Cooper. Visitors will also be encouraged to browse and enjoy music at Trash Records, an interactive installation within a fully recreated record shop.
No area of Saatchi Gallery has been left untouched; visitors will be immersed by works and ephemera on view across hallways, tunnels and staircases and will enter rooms exploring the birth of graffiti like never seen before. These spaces showcase a wall of Jenny Holzers truisms; Henry Chalfants photography of NYC train writers in action; together with AIKOs timeless stencilling of delicate silhouettes and Gordon Matta-Clarks extraordinary archive of graffiti photography.
The Dream Galleries chapter focuses on a selection of American and European originators, photo documentarians and cultural icons who helped contextualize and spread graffiti culture around the world. In André Saraivas Dream series, there is a visual articulation of how graffiti, street art, hip-hop, punk, fashion and break-dancing all sprung from the late 1970s and early 1980s into the 90s and today, and became a hybrid celebration of underground culture. Featured artists also include Mister CARTOON, most famously known for his tattooing and Los Angeles murals; an extraordinary Beastie Boys installation featuring fashion and ephemera from the bands prolific history; and LADY PINKs feminist murals, illustrations and paintings.
The Legends chapter presents icons such as legendary NYC artist, Eric HAZE, a torch bearer for generations to come; a new large-scale painting by abstract expressionist artist José Parlá; advertisement posters by KAWS, a prominent creative force; and unique ephemera by Keith Haring, one of the most popular street artists of the 1980s.
The Blockbusters chapter will includes works commissioned specifically for this exhibition by graffiti trailblazers Shepard Fairey, LA-based activist, and FAILE, a Brooklyn -based artistic duo taking over the streets of NYC since the late 90s.
Larger Than Life chapter includes a site-specific large-scale installation by LA-based icon Kenny Scharf who presents the largest to date Cosmic Cavern; an immersive and interactive installation consisting of Day-Glo paintings, ephemera, and reused materials found in the streets of LA. This chapter also features the signature puppet characters made from recycled materials by Paul Insect, one of Londons original street art pioneers.
The Timeline chapter takes a deep dive into street culture history through archival photography, ephemera and fashion to contextualize the cross-pollination of influences across music, fashion and film. This chapter also includes a large wall vinyl by infamous feminist collective Guerrilla Girls a deliberate nod to the fact that most street and graffiti artists, and indeed most well-known artists in contemporary art overall are men.
The closing chapters consist of Social Commentary: Graffiti as a message; Art with Conscience containing works by hip-hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy, and; Consideration Into Innovation showcasing Lisbon-based artist, VHILS, who innovatively utilizes repurposed materials to reimagine city walls.
In the final chapter, The Next Phase visitors will engage with new op-art works by Valencia-based artist Felipe Pantone, whose high-contrast, geometric patterns continue to challenge perspective resulting in a distinctive aesthetic of the digital age.
10Foot, AIKO, Alicia McCarthy, André Saraiva, BÄST, Beastie Boys, Beezer, Bert Krak, BLADE, BLONDIE, Bob Gruen, Brassaï, Broken Fingaz, C. R. Stecyk III, CES, Charlie Ahearn, Chaz Bojórquez, Chris FREEDOM Pape, Christopher Stead, Conor Harrington, CORNBREAD, Craig Costello, CRASH, DABSMYLA, Dash Snow, DAZE, DELTA, DONDI, Duncan Weston, Dr. REVOLT, Eric HAZE, Escif, Estevan Oriol, Fab 5 Freddy, FAILE, Felipe Pantone, FUME, FUTURA2000, Glen E. Friedman, GOLDIE, Gordon Matta-Clark, Gregory Rick, Guerrilla Girls, Gus Coral, Henry Chalfant, HuskMitNavn, IMON BOY, Jaimie DCruz, Jamie Reid, Janette Beckman, Jason REVOK, Jenny Holzer, Joe Conzo, John Ahearn & Rigoberto Torres, José Parlá, KATSU, KAWS, KC ORTIZ, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, KING MOB, LADY PINK, Lawrence Watson, Lisa Kahane, Malcolm McLaren, Maripol, Martin Jones, Martha Cooper, Maya Hayuk, Michael Holman, Michael Lawrence, Mister CARTOON, MODE 2, Ozzie Juarez, Pablo Allison, Pat Phillips, Paul Insect, POSE, PRIDE, PRIEST, Richard Colman, RISK, Robert 3D Del Naja, Roger Perry, Shepard Fairey, SHOE, Sophie Bramly, STASH, Stephen ESPO Powers, Stickymonger, SWOON, TAKI 183, Toby Mott, TOX, Tim Conlon, Timothy Curtis, Tish Murtha, Todd James, VHILS , ZEPHYR and more to be announced.