Modern graffiti culture began in the '70s on the streets and subway cars of New York and Philadelphia. 'Tagging' became a competitive sport, as bubble writing 'wild style' and cartoons began to appear all over urban landscapes. Today, graffiti is a global phenomenon. It has survived crackdown after government crackdown, but remains a subculture due to is associations with criminality.
Britain has complex relationship with graffiti. We laud Banksy and protect his works with perspex, but throw kids in jail for 2 years if they tag a tube train. Tourists flock to Shoreditch to see the area's street art, while the government spends about £100 million per year on preventative measures. Is graffiti vandalism? Or is it a legitimate cultural movement?
This year, Somerset House will attempt to answer that question with Venturing Beyond: Graffiti and the Everyday Utopias of the Street. As part of Utopia 2016 at Somerset House, the exhibition will explore graffiti as an intrinsically utopian practice: an alternative voice that strives to challenge established systems of society.
The exhibition will feature newly commissioned works from the likes of Parisian artist Horfée, OBEY founder Shepard Fairey, who designed Obama's 'Hope' election poster and New York-based Swoon.
|What||Venturing Beyond: Graffiti and the Everyday Utopias of the Street|
|Where||Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Temple (underground)|
03 Mar 16 – 02 May 16, Last entry 17:15
|Website||For more information see the Somerset House website:|