‘Post Graffiti’ at Southampton Arts Center

BEYOND THE STREETS returns to Southampton Arts Center this summer with its latest exhibition, “POST GRAFFITI,” premiering three years after its widely acclaimed “BEYOND THE STREETS on PAPER” opening in 2021. 

The concept of “POST GRAFFITI” encapsulates the genre’s journey of rebellious subway artists, originating from 70’s and 80’s NYC, to the global movement they’ve inspired. The term signifies a shift from the illicit nature of traditional graffiti to a more accepted, legitimate art form in gallery settings. As the movement has progressed, artists associated with post-graffiti continue drawing from the rich history of graffiti writing and the streets, forming a loose coalition that blurs and elevates their source inspiration through drawing, painting, sculpture, and installation. 

Post-graffiti is at the core of BEYOND THE STREETS, representing the embodiment of a larger picture of how far it has all gone and how raw it still remains. Graffiti has become a cultural phenomenon that informs music, fashion, politics, entertainment, marketing, and, of course, contemporary art. It has been on the runways of major fashion houses and memorialized in books and documentaries.

If a barometer is ever needed to indicate how far graffiti as a cultural touchstone has gone, “The Simpsons,” ever the etched-in-stone pop-cultural icon, has not only made Bart Simpson a tagger, but has featured a slew of graffiti artists over the years.

“In its journey from the subway tunnels of 70s and 80s New York to the global stage, graffiti has transcended its roots to become a defining element of contemporary culture. “POST GRAFFITI” captures this transformation, showcasing how a once clandestine form of expression has grown into a vital, influential art movement,” BEYOND THE STREETS Founder Roger Gastman said. “This exhibition not only pays homage to the pioneers who risked everything to express themselves, but also celebrates the diverse artists who continue to push the boundaries of what graffiti can be. It’s a testament to the enduring power of creativity against the backdrop of societal change, reminding us that art from the streets can speak volumes in galleries and beyond.” 

BEYOND THE STREETS “POST GRAFFITI” will be curated at the Southampton Arts Center, a historical building originally opened to the public in August of 1898 by art collector Samuel Longstreth Parrish. Originally called The Art Museum at Southampton, the space served to house Parrish’s extensive collection of Italian Renaissance art and reproductions of classical Greek and Roman statuary.

Opening nearly 125 years to the year of the building’s construction completion, the show will encompass over 8,000 sq. ft of space and scenic outdoor grounds, featuring paintings and sculptures from over 25 artists, along with ephemeral moments and works that tell the story of graffiti from its early days to the present and future of the artform. 

“POST GRAFFITI” opens May 11, 2024, on view through July 21, 2024.

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