With all the hype ahead of this exhibition's opening, and that I'd heard it described as "snooty," I wasn't sure I'd end up going to Art in the Streets. But when Little Tokyo is so close and a free Thursday -- in terms of my schedule and admission -- was at hand, I really had no reason to say no. And, admittedly, I was a little curious.
Certain things naturally drew me in: typography(of course); design elements like stenciling and repetitive geometries (I liked the "Wild Style" metamorphoses frames); and all that color. But other indigenous aspects I don't love or get at all: drugs, sex, violence, subversion -- why the faux dark and scary alley (complete with funky beer smell)? Why the lifestyle photographs? Why the wall of spray paint (like I couldn't see something like that at the Home Depot?) And: is it "high art" or "low art" (whatever either of those means)? Am I a snob to say I don't get it (or don't like it)?! Or is it ironic when I think it's snobby in turn?
All these questions darting about on top of having come from a full day of work, I took a break and stood in the second story of the exhibit, turning my attention to what ended up a more interesting endeavor: people watching. There were families, (ex-?) gangbangers, couples, church groups, young, old, and the ubiquitous hipsters. Designer bags. And threads. And Toms shoes. Baggy jeans. Skinny jeans. Sports jerseys and suits. And DSLRs and iPhones aplenty (mine included!).
I won't add to what has been said and written -- except to note neighbors' and police officers' observations of the spike in vandalism (ahem, "street art") around the area, some by the exhibiting "artists" themselves -- but will show a picture of the shadow of a piece I quite liked, although I don't exactly know what it is or intends. I just like the Japonisme and especially the lanternlikeness of it. Reminds me of the Midsummer Light (whose designer turns out to be Norweigian, ha).
One last thing about AITS: it's a big and mazelike exhibit! By the time I'd gotten through all I could get through, I was tahhhred. And hungry! Found a quick place to eat in the Village and then it was homeward bound.
Though I got home much later than usual, it was a good evening. Would I recommend the exhibition? Maybe to my younger brothers. But only on Free Thursday evenings.