James and Karla Murray’s monograph Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York made quite a splash on the blogs earlier this year, and their current exhibition with Gawker Artists, MOM & POPism, puts a new spin on the couple’s documentary streetscapes with a little help from curator/artist Billi Kid and 27 of his graffiti and street artist cohorts.
The show opened last night with a media-heavy shindig on the Gawker rooftop, where eight panels were specially constructed to display enormous paper pastings (technically 60% to scale) of the Murray’s bright photographs. The pair have published two previous books chronicling the graffiti scene and have twice collaborated with Billi Kid on exhibitions intended to bridge the gap between how people see graffiti on the streets and in galleries, while providing a relevant context that’s not a “white cube,” as Kid calls the contemporary gallery prototype.
In MOM & POPism, open to the public for one day only on Saturday, August 15, Billi Kid has collected a range of street artists from all over – Japan, France, even Florida – including new kids on the block like Ticky and Destroy & Rebuild in addition to Candy Factory regulars Zoltron, Lady Pink, Crome, Cern, Shiro, Robots Will Kill and the “notorious harmonious” Kid himself. To “maintain the integrity of the book,” he mapped out the sets in advance and matched each artist to a section of panel, including a cheerful Italian bakery, dingy dive bar, and butcher shop.