The Art behind Streetwear
An exhibition of four masters of street art and their influence on street-wear.
With the Double H Pavilion, curators Lucas Carrieri and Enrico Arcangeli seek to explore the origins of street wear and street aesthetics by bringing together ‒ for the first time in over two decades ‒ four masters of graffiti and street art. The influence of these artists on the now omnipresent street fashion is undeniable, though many Berliners as well as fashion lovers are not always aware of the beginnings of the graffiti art movement.
For this special occasion, four giants of street art ‒ DELTA, MODE 2, ERON and SHARP ‒ will be showing their work side by side.
The exhibition is a part of the five week urban art festival Urban Affairs Extended and will take place from the 1th until the 31th of July, 2009. The DOUBLE H pavilion is an official art event of the Bread & Butter fair,
When graffiti artists first started leaving their mark on our urban city-scapes, theirs was a risky and unthankful endeavour. Sneaking into subway tunnels, climbing over walls and hanging from rooftops, these pioneers of urban art were expressing an entire generation’s outrage at the confining and suffocating greyness of our cities.
Working with nothing but spray cans and waste, they would create short-lived masterpieces on ugly walls, iron trains, deserted streets. Always running the risk of getting caught, these artists would work under pseudonyms. The streets soon became the site of territorial “tag wars,” and the tags have become an art form on its own right.
Most of these early graffiti artists never enjoyed widespread recognition; when graffiti slowly became an integral part of our urban lives, many were no longer alive. They were rediscovered posthumously by a younger generation of graffiti and street art fans and new artists, and their art found its way into more accepted art forms. Nowadays, street-art can be seen hanging in renowned galleries across the world. It is also the topic of numerous films, books and videos. It is inseparable from our aesthetic in general, and from our fashion in particular.
Street wear labels have long been working closely with the aesthetic ideas introduced by graffiti ‒ labels work closely with graffiti artists to design their logos, the use of strong, neon colors. Even the oversize cuts are taken from the silhouettes of graffiti figures, with their caps, large sneakers and baggy clothes!
With the exhibition The Art behind Streetwear we seek to turn the spotlight on some of these early street artists. Before a line becomes a logo, before a shape becomes a model for garments, there is an artistic instance that emerges from the street. The exhibition will present four internationally renowned artists, each from different country. While the urban desolation they express stems from various cities (Amsterdam, London, Rimini and New York) the fact remains that streets across the world are alienating in a specific manner that is evident in these artists’ work.
With the omnipresence of street art in our daily routine and with the rise of graffiti from a criminal act to a highly codified form of expressive art, The Art behind Streetwear is a delightful return to the masters of graffiti and a rare occasion for their Berlin fans to view new works. By coinciding with the Berlin fashion fair Bread and Butter, street wear fans and designers alike will get a wider view on the artistic origins of street fashion.