Major institutions showcasing street art on authorized walls miss a key aspect of the discipline: the guerrilla approach to art making. Butterflies pinned in a pristine display case don’t look as good as in the open air. Taking stock of the stencil crew’s recent entry to the mainstream, the Street Museum of Art presents street art in its natural environment.
The self-proclaimed “guerrilla curators” select and provide extensive labels for pieces within the urban fabric, devising a street art tour whose duration, they say, is “entirely reliant on external forces and the reaction of the public.”
After a first outing in Brooklyn, the SMoA has now turned its attention to the British capital. Their newly-launched “Beyond Banksy: Not Another Gift Shop” in Shoreditch gathers works by C215, Christiaan Nagel, Eine, Mobstr, Pablo Delgado, Phlegm, Roa, Run, Skewville, Space Invader, Stik and Swoon. Varied, yet compact and easy to navigate, SMoA’s exhibition carves a new route through an area increasingly taken over by mass tourism and corporate entertainment. It’s also yet another demonstration that the tongue-in-cheek art of Britain’s most elusive street artist is only the tip of the iceberg.
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