Museums Shows Street Art

The Murals of “Vitality and Verve” at the Long Beach Museum of Art

Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape opened on Friday evening (6.26) at the beautiful Long Beach Museum of Art incollaboration with Thinkspace Gallery and Pow! Wow! The exhibition features murals and installations from a talented group of street artists and painters  including  Alex YanesAndrew SchoultzAudrey KawasakiBrendan MonroeBrandon ShigetaCryptikEsao AndrewsGreg ‘Craola’ SimkinsHotteaJames BulloughJeff SotoJohn S. CulquiLow Bros (above), MeggsNosegoNychosSaber, and  Tristan Eaton. Thanks to Thinkspace and the museum, Dailydujour had the opportunity to photograph many of these large scale works prior to the opening.  In addition to the murals and installations, the exhibition features select smaller works from a broader group of artists as well as an exhibition of Brandon Shigeta’s photography of the ongoing  Pow! Wow! project which had yet to be installed when these photos were shot.

The quality and range of work gracing the large, expansive walls of the museum  is impressive ranging from the collaborative mural by Tristan Eaton and Nychos on reclaimed panel and Andrew Schoultz’s ethereal mural + sculpture installation exploring balance to Alex Yane’s eye-catching, category-defying 2.5D mixed-block installation and the impeccably-painted mystical creature gracing two corner walls from the incomparable Aaron Horkey.

Art is a poignant means of reflecting on the problems that face us and a powerful tool for affecting change.  Meggs and Sabre both created striking and sobering pieces in reaction to the recent tragic death of unarmed 19 year old Hector Morejon, who was shot and killed  by Long Beach police responding to reports of graffiti.  Spanning three successive walls, Meggs follows the path of the ill-fated bullets through the police’s life-and-death failure to differentiate between unarmed youth with a spray can and violent criminal with a gun. Sabre’s primal graffiti piece honors Hector with his name emblazoned in blue paint sprayed through a fire-extinguisher against a somber background with the names of scores of other unarmed victims of police shootings.

With a succession of immersive, imaginative, and impassioned murals and installations, Vitality and Verve demands an in-person viewing.  Catch it at the Long Beach Museum of Art (Th-Sun) before it closes on September 27th, 2015.

Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape
June 27th through September 27th, 2015 (Th-Sun)

Long Beach Museum of Art
2300 East Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90803


Seen: Bumblebee – #Wherewebeelong at Thinkspace

Bumbebee opened his  “#Wherewebeelong” solo in the Thinkspace project room on Saturday evening (6.20). The new work fits the season – warm, colorful, and full of playful energy.  Kids sporting rainbow hues well as black+yellow striped outfits (a beautiful link to his signature characters) relax under the summer sun, cool off at the beach, and generally enjoy the simpler side of life. The work is at once precise and carefree—sharp stencil work conveys an uninhibited sense of exploration and play. The large rainbow-tinged doodle filling an entire wall nicely symbolizes the mood.  Done in Snapchat, the “now you see it, now you don’t”” digital playground of the young and young at heart, the piece captures childhood in an ever more complex world.  If you have a chance to check out the show, be sure to flip through the stack of popsicle pieces on notebook paper, hung casually, clipboard style on the wall.  It’s accessible, honest, fun, and pure Bumblebee.