“Write of Passage”—An Exploration of Graffiti


Red Bull Studios is sponsoring “Write of Passage,” a series of panels, workshops and exhibitions, on topics like “signature analysis” and the difference between graffiti and street art. It will start its six-week program on October 17 at Red Bull Studios, located at 218 West 18th Street in New York, New York. The public exhibition, which runs from October 19 to November 23, 2013, includes work by graffiti artists including Cope 2, KET, David “Chino” Villorente, and Carlos “Mare 139” Rodriguez [detail of artwork shown above].

Description: American graffiti’s history, evolution and impact will be examined through “Write of Passage,” a six-week series of educational programming that explores the impact of American graffiti art on global culture. Curated by Sacha Jenkins, noted “Writing culture” historian (hence Write of Passage; “writer” is what the artists call themselves) and Mass Appeal, a cultural collective, “Write of Passage” will comprise of panels, workshops, screenings and public exhibitions that highlight the various creative turns “graffiti” has taken. Housed at Red Bull Studios New York, the programming will include legendary graffiti artists and influential figures including Jonathan Levine, Cost, Daze, KR and Greg “SP” Lamarche, fostering a much needed intelligent and critical dialog around graffiti, an often misunderstood and mischaracterized art form.

“Write of Passage” will immerse 12 hand-selected student-artists in an extraordinary program offering once in a lifetime interactions with graffiti legends. Participants have been selected in partnership with NYC at-risk youth organizations like “Paint Straight” and “Art Start NYC” alongside educational institutions such as, Parsons and School of Visual Arts.

Workshops will explore everything about “writing” from its evolution as a felonious act, to a six-figure gallery trade embraced by the commercial world, including its very recent role in public exhibitions in New York, by world-renowned street artist, Banksy. Exceptionally rare is the examination of the individuals who proliferated graffiti on the streets and those who sought its demise with discussions around today’s increasingly harsh penalties and participation by retired members of NYPD’s infamous Vandal Squad.

The programming will also feature a public art exhibit and installation celebrating graffiti’s origins and influences including rare collaborative canvasses, vintage apparel and over 100 original graffiti artifacts. Additionally, a mix of Subway artifacts, graffiti writer mementos, photography and influential artwork will hang alongside four interactive installation areas within the space.

“Graffiti—or what many of us call writing—is often misconstrued, denigrated or simply ignored by America’s people and her institutions—both on the academic and fine arts side of things,” says curator Sacha Jenkins. “Write of Passage will address this void through a historic set of programming that will bring together some of the craft’s most influential figures in an effort to offer clarity, and to give the art and her apostles the credit and respect that it deserves.”

See “Write of Passage” trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cETGJvv44Mg

For more information on “Write of Passage” workshops, panels and exhibition, please see: www.massappeal.com/writeofpassage

For more information, see http://massappeal.com/writeofpassage/  and http://www.streetinsider.com/Press+Releases/American+Graffitis+History%2C+Evolution+And+Impact+Examined+And+Explored+Through+Six+Weeks+Of+Programming+In+%26quot%3BWrite+of+Passage%26quot%3B/8754871.html

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