Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Seventh Letter crew hit Santa Monica, CA

I got an invite to see an art show in Bergamot Station from Sue as her Italian artist friend, Mauro, was in town. On my way through to unit G2 I spotted something that was under my radar...Seventh Letter crew!? Waaat! Who forgot to tell me the hypest LA graff crew had a show?

Here are my photos of the night at the Robert Bergman Gallery, but you can find more Seventh Letter work permanently hosted at Known Gallery.

The LA Times article said that the curator, Brett Aronson, wanted to retain the raw nature of the Seventh Letter Crew's work by making the installation like a train station tunnel. In my years of gallery watching, graffiti art ceases to be street graffiti once it crosses the threshold of an art gallery, which is no bad thing. The whole point of exhibiting in a gallery is less about bringing street art fans to a gallery (unless you're MoCA or LACMA), but to introduce street art to traditional gallery goers. To begin to legitimize it.

Street culture feels guilty when it dabbles with 'the establishment'. Those that can navigate that boundary have done very well for themselves and the culture they represent (Futura? Slick? Stash?)

Think big! To be honest, I thought these pieces would've been better in a larger space. Although they were designed to be big (six 4x4 foot panels) the work seemed ill suited to this small-ish gallery environment. May be it was that train tunnel claustrophobic concept coming in? Thinking big was also on the minds of the artists when it came to pricing. I know the rep of this crew is high, but $3,000 for a panel or $16,000 for the complete work is too much for the real fans come collectors of this work. I can only compare to the 'Rust in Piece' show Stash and Slick did last year which was more reasonably priced considering the innovative execution.

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