'Now’s the Time' - named after a Basquiat painting of the same title - will run from 22 April — 20 May and brings together the most important and influential street artists of the past four decades.
The last five years or so has seen an explosion of artists working outdoors, often in an urban environment utilising stencils, woodcuts, sculptures, stickers, freehand paintings, pasted posters, ceramic tiles and photographs. Media interest has been fuelled by the public’s increasing appetite for street art.
Street art is not a new phenomenon - for at least four decades artists have chosen the streets as a primary place to exhibit works. Most of these artists were initially shunned by the establishment but a select few gradually gained acceptance from a slow moving and conservative art world. Artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring were amongst the early practitioners of what has become known as ‘street art’ and it is the descendants of their work and ethos who are among the best known artists working on the streets today.
Amongst the wide group of people who have chosen to express themselves in the street are some of the most creative and interesting artists working today. What unites these artists is a refusal to play by the rules, to conform to the establishment, to follow the traditional paths set out by the art world.
This refusal to be constrained or dictated to has led to some of the most exciting artworks and projects to be seen in any area of the arts. The freedom to communicate directly with the viewer outside of a traditional gallery environment has not only allowed art to be seen much more as an integrated part of everyday life, but has also introduced the dialogue between artist and audience to a far greater extent than ever before.
The exhibition opens 23 April with a preview evening on Thursday 22 April. Anyone wishing to attend the preview should sign up to the Black Rat Press mailing list to receive an invite.
Black Rat Gallery | 83 Rivington Street | London EC2A 3AY