Wednesday, February 2, 2011

On keeping 'street art safely pristine'

Nice piece in Artinfo about the ongoing drama with the Kenny Scharf mural on Houston and the Bowery. (Read the article here.)

The article, written by Emma Allen, focuses on the surveillance cameras and alleged 24/7 mural guard put in place by the wall's owner, Tony Goldman and his Goldman Properties ... to the article:

"There's no guard there now," countered Tony Goldman's prickly personal assistant, when asked if Goldman Properties had hired someone to protect the work. To which Goldman himself added in an email: "We had a guard there while the paint was drying," after Scharf touched it up. "There were many people in the street and we did not want the new paint damaged. The cameras remain."


"While the guard may be gone, larger questions of whose job it is (if it is anyone's) to keep street art safely pristine persist. Beginning in 2008, the works created for the East Houston space — collaborations between Goldman and galleries around the city, from Deitch Projects to The Hole, to Kasmin — have been executed by artists whose 'street art' sells in galleries and at auction for thousands of dollars. And while it seems logical to try to protect such valuable, and often beautiful, artworks from the destructive impulses of ruffians, the Houston Street wall once in fact was the uncontested terrain of those who made art outside of, and often in opposition to, the art establishment."

And Billy Leroy has the best line, which ends the piece: " ... it's funny, five years ago no one gave a shit about the wall, and now it's become the epicenter of the art world."

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] 24/7 security guards now on duty at the Bowery-Houston mural

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