Zócalo at the Fowler: How Does Street Art Humanize Cities?
For every commissioned piece of public art there are countless unlawful works — scrawled spray-painted initials, cheeky visual pranks, massive murals soaring up buildings and across rail cars, shrines tucked into unused corners. Street artists have become figures of global recognition, even acceptance. Artist collectives in Berlin take over buildings; London-based Banksy puts on pop-up exhibits around the world and debuted a film at Sundance; Shepard Fairey papered the U.S. with his Andre the Giant sticker campaign and went on to create a much-copied campaign poster for Barack Obama. But street artists also remain the subject of controversy, forcing cities to consider what art is acceptable, who should be allowed to create it, and where. As we wrap up our show of Larry Yust’s photographs of street art in Los Angeles, Berlin, and Paris (closing Jan 16), hear Fowler Museum curator Patrick Polk, Aaron Rose, co-curator of MOCA’s forthcoming street art exhibition, street artist Retna, and artist and curator Man One discuss how street art humanizes cities.
Moderated by Jori Finkel, arts writer, Los Angeles Times.