Police in cities around the world still chase after graffiti artists for vandalizing property. Some of those artists are often commissioned, by the same authorities who considered them vandals, to paint public works in their cities. The work of the rebels in our gallery all have stories to tell, messages to pass along, and some of them have causes feel passionate about.
In May, Shepard Fairey was commissioned by multimillionaire Dan Gilbert to paint a 185-foot mural on the side of the Quicken Loans headquarters building in Detroit. A few weeks later, Fairey was arrested by Detroit authorities for putting up posters in public spaces without permission. Fairey’s company, OBEY, supports Amnesty International and many other causes.
We have a number of Fairey’s serigraphs and an amazing OBEY Stratocaster in our gallery.
In May, over 250 graffiti artists were invited to paint murals in Bristol, England, where Banksy, as a young graffiti artist, was continually chased by the cops. In the past few years, Banksy has focused his attention on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the West Bank.
Keith Haring used the proceeds from his work to increase AIDS awareness. Since his death, in 1990 from AIDs-related complications, the Keith Haring Foundation has continued to provide grants to children and those affected by HIV/AIDS.
Haring worked his unmistakable style, not just on walls, not just in prints, but also on ceramics.
We are fortunate to be able to offer Spirit of Art No. 2, a Ceramic Platter issued by Haring’s estate and A Piece of Art, a ceramic serving set, in its original box.
Two years ago, the French artist, Invader, placed his pixelated pieces all over Hong Kong, while being chased around by Hong Kong police.
This year, Invader was invited by Hong Kong officials to put his mosaic tiles back up. In our gallery, we have one of Invaders serigraphs, done for the Art Alliance/Provocateurs Show, hosted every year by Shepard Fairey.
Gilf! is all about inspiring people to be more mindful of the way they interact with their communities and with each other. Gilf! is based in Brooklyn. This year she made lots of waves when she installed a giant banner, reading Gentrification in Progress at a location in Queens that was once a haven for graffiti artists.
We have two works from her Empower series, Empower Piece and Empower Equality, and a more recent work – a 4-color silkscreen titled, To Tehran with Love.
Retna has used his unique alphabet from the streets of L.A. to the walls of Louis Vuitton. We have an untitled serigraph in our gallery that was done for Shepard Fairey’s Art Alliance/Provocateurs show in 2014.
Retna has been making more news in the tabloids than in the art world recently, because of his volatile relationship with Brittny Gastineau.
Though not a graffiti artist, we wanted to include L.A. artist PlasticGod in this group, since much of the proceeds from his work goes to numerous charities, like animal rights, cancer research and the Special Olympics. Also, anyone who thinks of combining Salvador Dali with Hello Kitty, gets a nod from us.
The work in our gallery is a serigraph with gold foil, called Oxymoron’s (Genuine Imitation). This nod to Andy Warhol is a bit ironic – the Warhol Gallery is where PlasticGod has exhibited his work.