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Urban Art from the Permanent Collection

March 10 - April 18, 2017

murakami lithograph

Takashi Murakami, Killer Pink, 2003,
lithograph, ed. 300, SLU 2007.50


The urban artworks on display in this section of the “skinny” gallery are part of St. Lawrence University’s permanent collection of over 8,000 art objects and artifacts.  In 2006, gallery director Catherine Tedford and assistant gallery director Carole Mathey visited Shepard Fairey’s studio in Los Angeles before he became famous for his well-known Obama HOPE sticker campaign.  They purchased 36 Fairey prints at the time by choosing them from stacks on metal racks lining the studio walls.  Needless to say, the cost was low and such access would be nearly impossible today.

Many street artists create “fine art” prints, clothing, and plush and vinyl toys and dolls from imaginative character designs.  James Marshall, a.k.a. Dalek, has created outdoor painted murals, silkscreens, and dolls, often using a character he calls a “Space Monkey” as the basis for his work, merging street art, cartoons, Japanese pop, and the energy of the urban punk scene.  Dalek describes his experience as a studio assistant for Takashi Murakami in 2001 as a major influence on the nature and fabrication of his work.

Prints by the Argentine artist Matias Vigliano were purchased in Berlin, Germany, in 2009, in conjunction with an annual conference called Pictoplasma.  Founded in 1999, the Pictoplasma project focuses on character-driven art and also features exhibitions, happenings, publications, DVDs, and a relatively new Pictoplasma Academy, in which international graduate students and young professionals collaborate with leading artists, filmmakers, and producers.  Vigliano is a has been a member of the Doma Collective since 1998, when the group “filled the streets with ironic publicity campaigns, stencils, and urban projections.”

Other prints in the exhibition by Ferg and Murakami were acquired with funds from the Barnes and Griffiths Art Acquisition Endowment funds.

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