October 2, 2009 – January 2, 2010
Eighter (Northwest Indiana)
Aquarius defeats Reptilian Race, 2008
acrylic on canvas(detail)
Events: Opening reception Friday, October 2 in conjunction with First Friday: Red, White and You.
Though controversial, graffiti is a form of communication that inspires contemporary artists and designers. Though examples of graffiti have existed since the ancient world, it was not embraced as commercial or fine art until the past fifty years. American art stars such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring embraced this visual form and pushed the boundaries of the elitist art world again, just as artists of the Pop movement had before them. These artists connected to the popular culture and brought an everyday aesthetic into their creative processes and onto gallery walls. This brought new audiences to what is often seen as the rarified art world.
The movement continues today, and many artists who began as juvenile vandals or “taggers” have blossomed into serious artists and responsible community members because they were given opportunities to develop their talents and exhibit their works. Working with guest curator (and graffiti artist) Ismael Muhammad Nieves the Swope presents this exhibition to provide the Terre Haute community with examples of work by serious Indiana artists, influenced by the energy of graffiti, who produce legitimate and dynamic art that speaks to the today’s youth.