Last night, I attended the "Street Market" DC Graffiti Show opening reception at the Fridge Gallery, located at 516 1/2 8th St SE. This is event is part of their second annual Fresh Produce showcase of DC artists. Boasting 50 pieces of art, "Street Market" showcases the work of 15 local graffiti artists, such as ASTROTWITCH, Asad “ULTRA” Walker, DECOY, Tim Conlon (featured in the National Portrait Gallery’s RECOGNIZE: Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture in 2008.), HKS181, JAZI-ROCK, EXACTLY, JEA Alexander Medina, Lidio Aries, CRI, Mensa and others.
Last night was really special. We have Assistant Gallery Director, Emma Fisher, to thank for the really great hip hop mix that played as multicultural inter-generational audience made their way through the gallery. Inside, the work on display is exhilarating, fresh, edgy, and unconventional. The pieces are as diverse as the artists themselves and yet, they all speak to a vibe that is specific to DC. Outside, visitors witnessed several of the featured artists in action. I stood transfixed as these murals were created:
While these artists were invited to transform The Fridge Gallery's walls, most graffiti artists are working in the cloak of night with one eye on the wall and the other keeping watch for the police. The notoriety of graffiti art made this event even more riveting. It was a whispered-name only roster of who's who in attendance. However, the element of crime should in no way diminish the artistic mastery, vision, skill, technique, and discipline of these artists. Some are trained professionally, while others are self-taught. They are all exceptional.
Last night's opening was an enormous success. It boasted some 250 guests and I was so happy to be among them. I left feeling so inspired and alive. I strongly believe that graffiti is an evocative and beautiful art form and a brave and compelling form of self-expression. It's wonderful that these artists are being showcased at The Fridge. It greatly benefits communities and society-at-large when artists claim public spaces for galleries, theaters, and performance spaces.
I hope you all can make it out to see this great work. "Street Market" DC Graffiti Show will be on display through Sunday, August 19th. Admission is free. If you like what you see, it's all for sale at very reasonable prices. If you're a collector, you're in for a treat and won't want to miss this opportunity. If you're just starting out, this is where you'll want to make your first purchase. For more info, visit the Fridge Gallery's website. To peak your interest, here's a sampling of what you'll see:
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!