Breaking Out of the Box

Chelsea, New York

By The Street Museum of Art

Kobra, Chelsea, Kobra, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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Appropriating the public work of EKG, Futura & Os Gêmeos, gilf!, Icy & Sot, Invader, Jordan Betten, José Parlá & JR, KATSU, Kenny Scharf, Kobra, Phlegm and Stikman, Breaking Out of the Box focuses on the power of placement and its significance in defining street art.

EKG, Chelsea (2013) by EKGThe Street Museum of Art

EKG, Chelsea, EKG, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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Futura & Os Gêmeos, Chelsea (2013) by Futura & Os Gêmeos, ChelseaThe Street Museum of Art

Referencing Brian O’Doherty’s 1976 essay “Inside the White Cube,” Breaking Out of the Box highlights the dichotomy between traditional exhibition methods and the contemporary street art movement.  

gilf!, Chelsea (2013) by gilf!The Street Museum of Art

O’Doherty argues that the defining characteristics of the “white cube” environment — clean, static, artificial, and inornate — become as much a determining factor in our interpretation of the art exhibited within this setting as the actual work itself. 

gilf!, Chelsea, gilf!, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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Icy & Sot, Chelsea, Icy & Sot, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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Icy & Sot, Chelsea, Icy & Sot, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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Invader, Chelsea (2013) by InvaderThe Street Museum of Art

When we encounter street art, the surrounding city inevitably becomes an essential element in the work.  Unavoidable noises, demanding visual stimulation, even the questionable smells of New York City become equally as important to its completion as any wheat paste or spray paint used by the artist.  

José Parlá and JR, Chelsea, José Parlá and JR, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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José Parlá and JR, Chelsea, José Parlá and JR, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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Jordan Betten, Chelsea (2013) by Jordan BettenThe Street Museum of Art

Breaking Out of the Box explores the difference between two very distinguishable art viewing experiences  — considering the importance of both.  With over 300 galleries located in one area, there is no better neighborhood to demonstrate this distinction than the center of New York City’s commercial art world.  

KATSU, Chelsea, KATSU, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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KATSU, Chelsea, KATSU, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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Kenny Scarf, Chelsea, Kenny Scarf, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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Kenny Scharf, Chelsea, Kenny Scharf, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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Phlegm, Chelsea, Phlegm, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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Kobra, Chelsea (2013) by KobraThe Street Museum of Art

Stikman, Chelsea, Stikman, 2013, From the collection of: The Street Museum of Art
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Stikman, Chelsea (2013) by StikmanThe Street Museum of Art

By appropriating the work of graffiti writers, muralists, street artists and more traditionally trained painters working within the public realm, Breaking Out of the Box emphasizes that it is not necessarily the artist but the environment in which we experience their work that defines “street art.”

Credits: Story

Artists—EKG, Futura & Os Gêmeos, gilf!, Icy & Sot, Invader, Jordan Betten, José Parlá & JR, KATSU, Kenny Scharf, Kobra, Phlegm and Stikman

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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