Breaking Out of the Box

The Street Museum of Art

Chelsea, New York
Summer 2013

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.

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.  

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. 

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.  

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.  

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
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