The roof of Gawker’s headquarters was littered with street art yesterday evening at the press preview of the exhibition “MOM & POPism,” sponsored by Gawker Artists. The show, curated by graffiti maestro Billi Kid, fuses the work of 28 street artists with photographs from James and Karla Murray’s latest book, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York. Artists such as David Cooper, Lady Pink, and Shiro added their work to Murray’s nearly life-sized photographs of classic New York City streetscapes. The graffiti included everything from talking birds to acts of fellatio to multi-colored alien friends.
“This is full circle for us,” Karla explained, standing in front of a photo depicting the façade of Ralph’s convenience store, intertwined with David Cooper’s illustration of an “average Joe” holding a dollar bill. “We started photographing years ago because we were searching for graffiti art. If it wasn’t for the graffiti, we wouldn’t have gotten the stores.”
The exhibit opens to the public for one day on August 15; afterward, three prominent pieces—the images of Ralph’s, Pasteur, and Storage restaurant—will head to Art Basel in Miami, in an exhibit that brings to mind the storied favelas of Brazil, shantytowns where graffiti and art seamlessly combine.
The rest of the images lining the Gawker rooftop will be destroyed. “That’s the nature of street art—it’s gone in no time,” Karla said. “But now, I want to wallpaper my home with these images.” ALLIE STRAUSS AND MADISON SCHMAKEL