Tonight I attended the premiere of Outside In: The Story of Art in the Streets at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, a free screening provided by Levi's with Q&A with the filmmakers and artists.
Here are some photos (AND video) below. Check out more photos in the Galleries page.
The funny thing about attending these kind of events is the people they attract. You look around and see hipsters, skaters, artists, producer types, lay curators, and just good ol' street art fans.
You have to love it, though. Goes to show how quickly street art has gained popularity and respect.
After a long wait in line, and another wait in the courtyard, and more waiting in the seats as they filled up, I took lotsa random photos here. Like this one of the seats.
And another of the seats... in b&w. (More random pics of seats in the Galleries page, if you happen to be interested in those....)
As the artists quoted tonight, create it and they will come. The art was made, the movie was shot, and here we came.
We were shown three shorts made at the Levi's workshops, and finally, the premiere presentation.
Q&A with Alex Stapleton (director), rest of filmmakers, and artists (Saber, Shepard Fairey, Craig Stecyk, Mister Cartoon, Alexis Ross, Patti Astor, and Neckface).
After the movie and Q&A, the crowd stepped out for some drinks and music in the courtyard.
Like I said, drinks.
Jeffrey Deitch, museum director of MOCA who headed the Art in the Streets exhibit, socializes with an attendee.
Music entertainment for the evening: DJ Shepard Fairey. And his MacBook.
Even Mr. Brainwash was there to mingle with the crowd. He stood approachingly to the side, ready to give his own Q&A's to these fans.
Again, there are more photos in the Galleries page.
So... I enjoyed the documentary. It was interesting. About all the things that make street art in a museum ironic, I won't go there. Of course, I have many questions about certain things related to street art, but I realized that these street artists are just as unsure. There are a lot of elements that affect an artist's bias on how street art should be defined, and every artist is different.
But I think it's correct to say that they do have a huge common ground. They care about young aspiring artists. They relate to them more so than other kinds of artists I've seen.
And even though there is a strange hypocritical turnaround of people who used to think street art was trash, the artists don't really care. Street art is being recognized, respected, accepted, and slowly encouraged. It's the largest, most widespread I think, art revolution the world's ever seen. To think that we are now subjectively measuring the level of art in vandalism is pretty amazing to me.
And it is important to have it documented in video and art, in exhibits and preservations, because I learned that street art is very much a living kind of art. And like every living thing, it just may die. You never know what will get painted over. But that's partly what is so exciting about it. You're on location, where the artist was. You don't know what will be there next. There is always something changing, and always something new. You gotta love that about living in cities.
For those of you wondering where you can see the documentary, be sure to follow up with Levi's Workshop calendar to see future screenings in LA. You can also check out the movie site for more info. The documentary supposedly "just finished yesterday", so will take a bit more time for it to reach distribution.
I threw a video together (seen below at bottom of post) with snippets of the Q&A and afterparty. The artists talk about everything from Revok and city attorney, Carmen Trutanich, to graffiti vs. street art and inspiring young artists.
Notable quotes that I didn't catch on camera were mostly by Neckface. When asked the difference between an organized official screening about street art like this one and a more guerrilla event, he said, "Lot more white people showed up to this one." When asked about cost of materials, he piped in, "Back then, I stole my s****.... I still steal my s****."
Music in the video is "Galena" by Dan Mehta.