September 9, 2011
Paint the Town !
International Street Artists Make Atlanta Their Canvas
By Nancy Staab
International Graffiti Stars and Local Wheatpaste Pros Lay Down Their Art on Atlanta Walls and Facades for Living Walls 2011. See Some of This Year’s “Wall of Fame” Contenders Here.
Graffiti and street art used to be considered a nefarious art practice, done on the sly, undercover at dark, and at risk of arrest if discovered. Then came international art stars like Bansky and Shepard Fairey and the whole medium has been reevaluated—less as urban blight and more as guerilla artistic intervention in an urban context.
To wit, the work of some of the world’s top street artists is now much sought after on the auction set and these artists have now been invited indoors with “polite company” to show at such venerable institutions as the ICA in Boston (hosting a solo exhibit on Swoon this fall) or MOCA-LA (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles), which hosted a blockbuster spring exhibit Art in the Streets, curated by Jeffrey Deitch. (Art in the Streets was also documented in a fab picture book by Rizzoli). From primitive mark-making, the art has evolved into elaborate murals, wry commentaries on the social/political/human condition, and flamboyant examples of human imagination.
For the third year Living Walls has brought some of the world’s top graffiti artists from Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Ghent and NYC, to our fair city to work side-by-side with our local graf luminaries like Greg Mike, Everman, Never, Michi, Jason Kofke and Ola Bad. Not just a platform for art, Living Walls 2011, which took place mid-August, also sponsored films showings at Kibbee and Mint Gallery and various intellectual seminars on street art such as the use of public spaces, activism through art, and the transition from alley to gallery. Oh and the spirited group also partied down at favorite hipster venues like Goat Farm and Sound Table. Founded in 2009 by Atlanta-resident Monica Campana and Blacki Li Rudi Migliozzie, the festival, which takes place annually in Atlanta and Albany, NY, has left a painted legacy on our city walls.
Check out the fantastical and thought provoking works of some of this year’s graf masters in the slide show below. Or better yet, click the link for the city map and check them out live.