ALLIE WALKER | 12 OCTOBER 2012
Think you aren’t a ‘museum’ person? This new museum in Brooklyn, New York turns the notion of a pristine gallery setting on its head. Instead of using blank white walls to display works of art, the streets become the canvas in the Street Museum of Art. The new museum embraces street graffiti and other public art, turning the works into a living, ever-rotating collection.
Instead of pricey admission fees and long lines like at other New York museums, the Street Museum of Art is free and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The first exhibit, In Plain Sight, is now on view in Williamsburg, challenging jaded New Yorkers to look for the art that surrounds them, but often goes unnoticed, on city streets:
Each piece has been cleverly positioned by the artists – hidden in plain sight and taunting those who pass by to stop and look. The exhibition encourages visitors to rediscover this city through a street artist’s perspective – paying attention to the freshly wet cement of a sidewalk, the rooftop of a run down industrial building or the flat exterior surface of a familiar storefront. For a moment, through the scavenger-hunt-like exhibition experience unique to The Street Museum of Art, one can begin to imagine the artists on their search for the ideal urban canvas.
The works are ‘cataloged’ as if placed in a more traditional setting; white placards accompany the piece, noting the artist and giving a short explanation of the work. Rather than transplant the works, the Street Museum of Art has chosen to keep the vibrant street art in its urban, natural environment, encouraging the public to view ‘Williamsburg, Brooklyn through the lens of a street artist…and acting as a catalyst for future public street art exhibitions.’
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