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 Yanes, Andrew Schoultz, Audrey Kawasaki, Brendan Monroe, Brandon Shigeta, Cryptik, Esao Andrews, Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins, Hottea, James Bullough, Jeff Soto, John S. Culqui, Low Bros (above), Meggs, Nosego, Nychos, Saber, 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