It’s all about appropriation: Street art and graffiti in studio art.

Appropriation
A collage composed of found stickers, by Tom Fruin at the Buia Gallery in New York in February ’08. A few of the street artists represented include: Royce Bannon, Over Consume and Ambusch. (Photos by C-M unless otherwise noted.)

For the purpose of this blog, I spend much of my spare time photographing just about everything the art industrial complex sees fit to churn out: paintings, sculpture, video, and totally weird breakfast buffets. In the past six months, I’ve noticed a small, but growing trend: studio artists (including the late Robert Rauschenberg) incorporating street and graffiti art into their work.

This takes various guises. There are painters who incorporate graffiti art into urban landscapes, assemblage artists who use elements of real-live street art in collages and sculptures, and art photographer types who go out and document all of the beautiful decay. It’s one of those interesting art world conundrums: on its own, most street art and graffiti isn’t thought to have much artistic or monetary value. But clearly there is some potency residing in this imagery if studio artists are remixing and reconfiguring it for the pristine walls of commercial galleries.

Click images to supersize. More after the jump.

Graffiti in Studio Art
Jessica Hess at the Jeff Bailey Gallery in NYC, February 2008. Two paintings on paper. The one on the left features a piece by Jumbo and a pasteup-cat by Elbow-Toe. See an original Jumbo here.

Appropriation
Detail: A close-up of Hess’s painted reproduction of Elbow-Toe’s cat. Here’s a look at Elbow-Toe’s original woodcut print in Brooklyn.

Appropriation
Light House Wall, 2007, a transfer by Robert Rauschenberg at Pace Wildenstein, exhibited in January 2008. The upper right hand corner of the piece features the work of various New York City street artists. See the detail below.

Appropriation
Detail of Rauschenberg’s Light House Wall. To the right, clockwise from top, paste-ups by Kelly Burns, Elbow Toe, Bowl of Cherries, Judith Supine and Gaia. See the original wall.

Appropriation
Another Rauschenberg transfer from the same show. This time, incorporating what appears to be European graffiti.

Appropriation
A sticker collage by Tom Fruin at the Buia Gallery in New York, in February.

Appropriation
Another sticker collage by Fruin. Street artists represented: Old Chola, Phallic Mammary, Olive 47, among many others.

Appropriation
Painting by unknown artist at the Red Dot Fair in New York in March. Roller pieces by Inkhead and Phonoh represented on the right. See original pieces by Phonoh and Inkhead.

Appropriation
A collage of a face, made up of small, individual paintings on canvas board, by Cameron Gray at the Pulse Art Fair in New York in March, 2008. A number of the individual panels featured street art and graffiti. See below.

Appropriation
Detail: A panel from Cameron Gray’s painted collage – an image of decaying posters of Andre the Giant from Shepard Fairey’s Obey campaign.

Appropriation
Detail: A reproduction of a graffiti piece.

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Detail: Gray also incorporated a painting of California artist Skullphone’s signature paste-ups. See an original here.

Appropriation
Detail: Graffiti panel incorporated into Cameron Gray’s collage.

Appropriation
A photograph of a New York city street street by Francisco Olazabal, spotted at the Chelsea Galleria in Miami in May, 2008. Street artists featured: Borf, Bast, Team Vomit and Plasma Slug.

Appropriation
Another photo by Olazabal at Chelsea Galleria. Street artists featured: Celso, Haculla and Skewville.

Appropriation
A cereal box produced by artist Kristin Posehn, featuring a photograph of a graffiti piece by Silencer in northern California. This was spotted at Geisei Miami, in December ’08.

Appropriation
Threshold Apprehension, a sculpture with found stickers by Diego Fernandez, spotted at the Armory Show in New York, in March of ’08. Represented among the stickers are street artists such as Wrona, Over Consume, Tattoo, the Irak Crew, Read More Books and Ana Peru.

Appropriation
Painted sculpture depicting graffiti on Whitechapel Road in London by Miranda Donovan. (Image courtesy of Moco Loco.)

If you know the names of any the artists represented in the pieces here, let me know who and which piece so I can add them to the credits.

Posted by C-Monster.

10 comments

  1. Jon

    Those are some really eye-catchy stuff. I really like the face-collage. I saw the Shepard Fairey’s Andre the Giant picture and maybe a bit of Ed Templeton’s but these street art works got me interested in these artists.

    I think some of them are going to be in this documentary called Beautiful Losers so definitely give it a check. Maybe these works could be up there.

  2. Adam Lawrence

    and it’s not just showing up in galleries.
    this “installation” of “appropriated” street stickers was used as a window display at the soho retail shop replay.

  3. Pingback: C-MONSTER.net. » Blog Archive » An addendum: More on graffiti and street art in studio art.
  4. Hannah Zimmerman

    Cool post! I really liked the sticker collage. If you are into urban art you should check out Alexander Austin, he does huge murals on the sides of buildings in KC. The Pitch newspaper just did an interesting piece on him that talks about his work and his life, kind of a rags to riches story. If you want to check it out here is a link….http://www.pitch.com.