Weekend Recs : Down By Law
As the summer draws to a close (is it just me or do the days seems to be getting shorter?) get you ass on the Jitney and head over to East Hampton to see this impressive art show, Down By Law. It showcases rarely seen works by the pioneers of the NYC based graffiti and underground art scene. On view are seminal pieces from the key artists of this genre—some of whom achieved international fame, others who remained relatively anonymous, and still others who died prematurely. These artists’ “billboard masterpieces” and “moving murals” defined a generation and reshaped the way people have related to pop culture, public art, and urban aesthetics ever since.
Paintings by Coco 144, whose work in the early 1970s earned him the title “The Marcel Duchamp of graffiti subculture.”
Rarely seen canvases from the early 1980s by style master Dondi White, who by age 22 had had seven solo exhibitions and whose painting was in several European museum collections.
Zephyr’s animation sequence frames for Charlie Ahearn’s iconic film, Wild Style.
Original drawings from “Yo! MTV Raps”, plus original logo designs for the Beastie Boys, Run‐DMC, and the Cold Chillin’ record label.
“Down By Law” will also include photos and contemporary art that gives context to this period: subway car photos by Henry Chalfant, rarely seen portraits of Jean-Michel Basquiat by Michael Halsband, plus new work from old graffiti masters, such as Mare 139’s steel sculptures of two dimensional graffiti motifs, Sharp’s sexualized mixed‐media collages, and canvases by Blade, Lady Pink and Eric Haze.
“So much of contemporary art and culture is indebted to this genre,” says Mare 139. “This survey helps chart the historical relevance of, and diffuses the prejudices about, what was once considered a marginalized outsider art form.”
Exhibiting Artists include: Charlie Ahearn, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Blade, Henry Chalfant, Coco 144, Joe Conzo, Martha Cooper, Cope 2, Daze, Jane Dickson, Dr. Revolt, John Fekner, Cousin Frank aka Ghost, Michael Halsband, Keith Haring, Eric Haze, Keo, Eric Kroll, LA2, Lady Pink, Greg LaMarche, Michael Lawrence, Chris Pape aka Freedom, Rammellzee, Carlos “Mare 139″ Rodriguez, Anita Rosenberg, Sharp aka Aaron Goodstone, Jamel Shabazz, T-kid 170, Dondi White, and Zephyr.
“Pioneers are the first to see it… and last to be seen.” —Mare 139 (aka Carlos Rodriguez)