Gallery gives graffiti love
Posted on 29 Apr 2008 by Jason Keath
This entry was cross-posted at DesignCharlotte.org.
Off The Wall is the first graffiti-inspired art show in Charlotte and opens this coming Friday at the Charlotte Art League, a Southend art gallery. The exhibit will showcase graffiti and graffiti-inspired artwork, featuring veteran graffiti artist Desism, among others.
gallery crawl & reception: May 2, 6–9 pm
showing: May 2 — 30
During Art and Soul this past weekend, some area artists were promoting the upcoming show by decorating the gallery walls with graffiti. It was definitely refreshing to see this in action inside of a gallery in Charlotte. As much as I love Charlotte’s art shows, it’s often more corporate and safe art than truly inspiring unique work (Southend, NODA, and Central Ave being the exceptions to the rule).
And yes, the city and companies have already begun to complain. “I know there’s a perception that this is an ‘urban art form’ for artists ‘without a canvas,’ but I think that’s a naive and elitist approach,” said Michael Sullivan of the city’s code enforcement division (quotation via the Charlotte Observer). I have no idea where the man is coming from when it comes to the “elitist” comment, but to each his own.
As much as people may not understand or want graffiti to be an art form, it is. It has graced the finest galleries in the world for some time and is cultivated in positive ways in the biggest cities in the world. The City of Charlotte does not even allow a private business to set aside its own wall space as a controlled and welcomed canvas for graffiti. The City needs to differentiate between illegal graffiti, mainly done by teens and gangs, and the art that will be on display this Friday. Charlotte needs more murals and public space available for unique art to be shared with the city. Frescoes bought by Bank of America and decorated rocking chairs are nice, but by no means cover the breadth of art that is out there.