Street Art Gets ‘Urbanised’ at Selfridges

Buy a Banksy on your storecard!

Friend-Of-BST King Adz invited us along to the opening of Selfridge’s exhibition/auction of work by UK-based street artists. Some nice stuff, and not all from the usual suspects (although a few of our faves were notable by their absence, as was work from the more politically-pointed end of the creative spectrum). Banksy of course gets his own room, which we guess makes it a tad easier for those who are just there to pick one up on their way to the Rolex counter.

Nice to see these artists getting some serious recognition from the dealers — and nice to see that Adz was commissioned to write the catalog of the exhibition, rather than some outsider with an eye on nothing but the guide prices for the auction.

Interesting also to note the laundering of the ‘street’ in ‘street art’ to urban — presumably to remove any unsavoury whiff of, maybe, work actually created on the street. And doesn’t urban sound just a little more cozy and comfortable, and hint at just a frisson, darling of conspicuous-consumption-worthy bling? We asked Adz. His take?

Street Art stops being street art the moment it leaves the street. Then it becomes art. The term ‘Urban Art’ is the art world trying to get round the fact that they have ignored and dismissed street art for the last 15 years, and now they have no choice but to jump on the bandwagon.

Go for the art, and get a copy of Adz’s catalogue. But please, kids, don’t forget where this art form has its roots.

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2 Responses to Street Art Gets ‘Urbanised’ at Selfridges

  1. David Barrie says:

    Thanks for the posting. I have to take something back to jewellers Bulgari, so will check out this exhibit.

    Is it me or is it jaw-dropping just now to see how surplus wealth adjusts, appropriates and re-invents things associated with poverty, mess and the need for people in cities to say “Hi, I exist.”?

    Penthouse life must really be dull and depressing, for pavement life to be so engaging.

    Problem is that it’s tourism and interior urban decoration of the mind.

    For more spin on appropriation of ‘street’ see this posting on Murakami and street vendors:

  2. wildeye says:

    street art is dead

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