Where does Street Art fit into the contemporary art world? LAB ART Los Angeles aims to secure the genre's place as a serious movement by giving it a permanent spot in the cultural cache when it opens its doors to the public May 13.
Thursday evening, members of the art world, media, and general cultural enthusiasts converged upon LAB ART, a 6,500 square foot gallery on La Brea in LA, for the opening preview of the country's largest Street Art collection to date. The exhibition includes around 300 works by 33 street artists, both new and established. Celebrity favorites include Destroy All Design, Sean D'Anconia, and This Means Mar.
LAB ART Owner and curator, Iskander Lemseffer, told Huffington Post exclusively that "what we want to do here is give Street Art the place it deserves in Art History. Putting the work in a gallery gives it the attention it deserves and gives it a place in contemporary art."
All 33 artists were on scene for the event, not in masks--as is usually the norm in the street art world--but anonymously walking among the guests. One artist revealed himself to us, and even allowed us to snap a photo--albeit from behind. It was nearly impossible to tell who was just a trendy party-goer sipping vodka and Red Bull and who was responsible for the creations on the walls and throughout the space. There were, however, a few signs that could give the artists away: paint on the hands, wearing sunglasses (at night), and the overheard mumble of "congratulations" from others in the room.
The art on display included paintings, photographs, mixed media, and installations, and ranged from tongue-in-cheek to satirical and subversive in tone. Images from pop culture and American history alike--everything from Hello Kitty to founding father George Washington--became subject matter in the collection. Nobody was safe from commentary, as various works seemed to poke fun at and comment on everything from symbols of materialism like Louis Vuitton and Starbucks to, well, Hipsters. To see a preview of some of the work on display at LAB ART, check out the slideshow below!