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Graffiti on the Tate

April 3, 2008

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Not what you think, or maybe exactly. The Tate Museum, a world renowned contemporary art museum, is looking for some new muralists . Graffiti can stake its claim on museums and galleries again. This time institutions have gotten smarter, they are keeping street art outside. Instead of giving the newest generation of street artists canvas’ to paint on the Tate museum will be sanctioning a 35 meter (approx 115′) mural on its facade, spokesman stress that the building will not be harmed.
Banksy, English stencil artist, hasn’t been mentioned in the press as participating in the exhibit. Yet he was able to sneak his own work into the museum a few years back! looking at his site lately it appears that he has been influenced by Kara Walker.
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Artists that have been invited to submit proposals include Os Gemeos, Faile, Blu, Never, JR, and Sixart.
It will be a curious thing, street art has been a passing trend in many cities around the world. Its been adapted to market and sell products and has commodified itself. Is this just another marker of its assimilation into consumer society and bourgeois culture? Will it encourage a new generation of artists to challenge the constraints of public space?

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One comment on “Graffiti on the Tate”

One of the things I think that keeps street art commodified is its secretive nature. Its not merely enough to walk down the street and see a Banksy; it just feeds the faux outlaw allure that then gets used to sell tshirts ala Shepard Fairey. When street art becomes participatory, and everyone can join in, then it’ll be much harder for posers to claim street cred by putting up their poor art work up on the wall of a NY avenue.