from the archives of: www.newyorkcool.com
Wooster Collective Presents….
Hollywood: The Remix
Wooster Arts Space
147 Wooster Street, New York NY 10012
Reviewed by Liberation Iannillo
The debate over
what is legitimate art and what is not can be argued
in vain. If the creation in question provokes thought,
evokes feeling or inspires conversation then, in
my opinion, the artist has done his or her job.
Street art is a subject that seems to have no gray
area in that debate. For the most part it’s
seen as either a legitimate art form or just plain
In the late 70’s
New York City subway trains were covered with graffiti.
The train cars came out of the yards in Queens
each morning after the artists had their ways with
them the previous night. The rolling, metallic
canvases became as much a symbol of New York City
as The Empire State Building. The dichotomy of
these icons, both equally important threads in
the fabric of New York City, came to symbolize
the unique chemistry the city had to offer. Unfortunately,
not everyone thought so.
In an effort to
discourage artists from painting the trains, in
May of 1989 the MTA set in effect a new policy
that removed train cars with graffiti from service.
This policy became known as the Clean Train Movement.
The MTA had also started to replace the old flat
sided cars a new, rounded side model, effectively
making it harder for the graffiti artists to paint
with any real accuracy. Graffiti seemed to be a
dying art form.
In the early 90’s
resurgence in reclaiming public space had begun.
Stickers began to pop up from New York to L.A.
featuring WWF wrestler Andre The Giant which read “Andre
The Giant Has A Posse”. The mystery to their
meaning was part of the phenomenon. “Because
Giant has a Posse has no actual meaning, the various
reactions and interpretations of those who view
it reflect their personality and the nature of
their sensibilities”, says the sticker’s
Fairey. With a new generation of ironic, politically
active artists on the prowl, graffiti in a sense
Collective, a web site dedicated to the celebration
of street art, offers an extensive view of street
art from New York City to Tokyo. The site includes
artist bios, interviews, current work, and information
about upcoming shows and events. Wooster Collective
recently organized the exhibition ‘Hollywood:
The Remix’ at the Wooster Arts Space on
Wooster Street. The showing consisted of the
work of over fifty artists from both America
and Europe. Each artist was given a series of
posters from classic Hollywood films and was
asked to “remix” them by incorporating
their street art iconography into the classic
The reworked movie
posters included a variety of past and present
films such as ‘Rebel without a Cause’, ‘Lord
Of The Rings’, ‘Super Fly’, ‘Drugstore
Cowboy’, ‘The Matrix: Reloaded’, ‘Scarface’, ‘Harry
Potter’, ‘Barabarella’, ‘The
Hulk’, and ‘Easy Rider’.
'The Great Escape' By Michael
De Feo, (a.k.a. ‘The Flower Guy’),
took on the imagery of the 1963 flick ‘The
Great Escape’ starring Steve McQueen. De
Feo’s tranquil approach contrasted the
original artwork which depicted escaped POW’s
scrambling for freedom though search lights and
'Eyes Wide Shut' By xoooox
'Barbarella' By Urban
'Forrest Gump' By Jon
Collaborative Piece By The
London Police and Galo
Though the weather
was rather muggy, it didn’t deter the large
crowd that quickly filled the space. The DJ on
hand did a great job of setting a mood for the
evening while still allowing people to converse
without having to scream. There was a large, collaborative
piece being worked on The
London Police and Galo.
'The Lord Of The Rings'
'Faster Pussycat Kill!
Kill!' By Cum
Kill! Kill!’ by the Belgian trio CUM was
by far one of my favorite images of the evening.
The use of their signature pin-up girl and her
strategically placed paint drips in combination
with the films’ original exploitive imagery
make their porn-tastic take on this poster perfect
have no trouble discerning what art is. Shepard
Fairey, partner in the graphic design firm BLK/MRKT,
has had commercial success with clients like Mountain
Dew, Nissan and DC Shoes.
Of course when one
goes from plastering the neighborhood with posters
to working on major ad campaigns, there are some
that quickly yell ‘sell out’.
To those who criticize, Wooster
Collective’s Marc Schiller says “I
think that debating whether an artist is "selling
out" by doing something for money is, quite
frankly, stupid and a complete waste of time.
The ultimate goal of most artists is to pay their
rent doing what they love the most, which is
creating art. Artists should do whatever they
need, or want, to do, to live as they desire,
even if that means doing commissions for brands
and having corporate clients. It's not for me,
or anyone else, to judge. Each artist should
live by their own code of ethics and decide what
is right for them."
how an artist goes about putting food on their
table and paying their rent is [sound of frustration].
Nobody wants struggle to pay the bills. "Going
commercial" allows an artist to stop worrying
about money and start worrying about their craft.
The idea that the "struggling artist" is
a romantic notion and that the struggling artist
has more "freedom" is, to me, complete
Additional photos from