Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Street Phenomenon

I’m sure many of you have heard about or seen the hip hop exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. I went to go see it and heard David Scheinbaum speak about his photography and his personal experiences with hip hop, and how he was so surprised at the love that he received in the hip hop community, blah, blah, blah. As a self proclaimed hip hop head, I can’t say I was impressed with the exhibit or Scheinbaum. The exhibit seemed a little patronizing. Hip hop has been around for years; it’s one of the most influential art forms in the modern world. Music, dance and visual art have all been affected by hip hop in some way shape or form. So, I don’t get this new fascination with it or everyones late recognition of it, hip hop and urban art has been around for over twenty five years!

The Washington Project for the Arts is hosting a talk at the Katzen Arts Center with Sara and Marc Schiller discussing the influence of “street art” on the modern art movement. They are also giving a visual lecture on graffiti. No, they're not graffiti artist, Sara works in real estate and Marc does digital marketing. They're the creators of the Wooster Collective; a site “dedicated to showcasing and celebrating ephemeral art placed on streets in cities around the world.”

Ya’ know shit like this doesn’t make me think “street art” or urban art has arrived, it makes me nausea. Yet another art form that is sacred to the artists that make it is being exploited, being pimped harder than one of Goldie’s hoe’s to the mass media.

I am interested to see what you, dear reader, think about all the commercial recognition that hip hop and urban art is getting. Email your comments to