Fans lining up
Last night I went to see the new street art documentary “Outside In” directed by Alex Stapleton and produced at the Levi’s Film Workshop, which revolves around MOCA’s Art in The Streets exhibit in Los Angeles. The exhibit is curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Roger Gastman and is the first major museum survey of graffiti and street art in the US. It is filled with many mediums of street art: stencils, spray paint, sculptures, mixed media, photography…the list goes on. It is quite the amazing venture if you are in the area before August 8 when it closes.
The movie begins with French artist Space Invader talking (with his face hidden behind his shirt and sun glasses) about his strategic placement of his tile pieces around the MOCA and how it relates to his street work “Being everywhere and nowhere at the same time”. As it progressed we got to watch the set up of the exhibit with short interviews starring almost everyone involved. An interesting point in the film is Ben Eine commenting on how most of the artists that were once jailed and fined for their art are being praised for it here in a museum setting…
Saber and Mr. Brainwash
Every now and then the film would go back and forth between the street artists and the local authorities describing the art form with reactions of screaming and yelling at the screen from the crowd. Comments about the artists not even being able to finish their art projects because of old warrants were jokingly passed around by authorities as well, not a crowd pleaser but it did show us the reality of how some people feel about this movement.
Roger Gastman and Angelique Groh
Co-curator of the exhibit, Roger Gastman, who was a known graffiti writer and co-writer of the book “The History of American Graffiti” with graffiti artist Caleb Neelon, was also describing his feelings towards the moment and how happy he was that it is finally getting the much needed respect it deserves. I wont ruin the ending for you but there is a nice tribute to artist Blu whose controversial mural on the back of the museum was buffed in less then a day of being completed.
The Q&A section of the night started off with director Alex Stapleton and artists Saber, Mr. Cartoon, Shepard Fairey, and Neck Face coming to the front of the theater. The crowd was at first shy to ask questions but soon thereafter started. When asked about what the artists were doing to help get a fellow graffiti writer in the exhibit Revok get out of jail, Saber asked people to please buy a “Free Revok” t-shirt to help raise funds to get him out. His bail was set to $320,000, and not confirmed yet but Saber mentioned that he was already sentenced to 180 days in jail. Another interesting question caught my attention as someone asked what’s the best country for street art and it seemed like all at once the artists all tilted their heads thinking and mumbling with approval towards Berlin in Germany.
After a few more questions, Shepard rushed off to set up his DJ platform outside for the after party.The after party was amazing as Shepard was spinning some good ol’ classic tunes, and artists were mingling with fans while enjoying drinks with each other. People seemed to really enjoy the movie though some people also felt like it was simply a long advertisement for the MOCA exhibit. Mixed emotions throughout the crowd but overall everyone seemed to really enjoy it. Great way to end the night, stay tuned for when this movie is available in your area. – Birdman
If you would like to support help Revok with his legal fee’s, get yourself a t-shirt go here:http://store.theseventhletter.com/FREE-REVOK-TEES_c_16.html
To view a trailer for “Outside In”, please go here: http://vimeo.com/24192456
Saber and Roger Gastman