• Amanda Micallef


Updated: May 7, 2018

Arsenic's Artist in Residence Meg Zany hit the VIP Preview of BEYOND THE STREETS Saturday night. Here's what she had to say.

Whaaaaattt!!!? Beyond The Streets was lit. I cannot believe how much history was packed into this show! Granted, the space within it lives is forty-thousand square-feet, however it truly captures and compiles fifty-plus years of vandalism and non-conformity into one amazing exhibition.

Caveat: It is impossible for me to talk about every artist in this show. That said, I could simply go on for days, but art isn’t me telling you what’s good. Art is about you experiencing the emotion that a piece sparks within you upon the first moments of gaze.

In no particular order — some of the emotions that were sparked in me: Risk — Sawed a mutha fu*ckin cop car in half! The impressive part is how cleanly it was done. Cue the song “bad boys, bad boys” because that’s exactly what Risk is — a bad mutha fu*cka!

Tim Conlon — GRAFFITI + TRAINS = MY LOVE! When I was seven years old, I remember sitting at railroad crossings waiting for those massive, hundred plus rail cars to pass by. I would have my forehead pressed against the window in awe of the graffiti that whisked past my face. I thought it was the coolest thing on the planet! And I still do today! Tim Conlon truly captured on canvas the essence of a rusted old freight train emblazoned with graffiti. Be still my heart.

Swoon — Always visually stunning and heaps of emotion oozing from her all her pieces. Here she displays massive emotionally complex images wheatpasted on reclaimed doors along with other details of mixed media. Can we give the girl some room!? The space she was in was a narrow hall flooded with foot traffic. Would be nice to have a bit more space to stand back and fully absorb all the emotions that are being portrayed in Swoon’s works.

Obey — We all know and love Shepard Fairey. Truth told, I wasn’t expecting to be inspired to write about him. I have a long-standing love for his work — Shep is a BIG inspiration for me. The pieces on display were earlier images of his which sparked nostalgia in me. The even cooler part was the display table in the center of the room which encases tools of the trade — his painted up shoes, respirator, actual stencils, exacto knife, silkscreen squeegee. It was an instant connection and super inspiring — it’s all the things that are in my workspace and life as well! At that single moment of connection, I realized how obsessed I am with the street art world in which I live.

Guerrilla Girls — First time I learned of the feminist fact-sharing trio was at the Tate Modern in London. “What the actual fu*ck” is what I remember murmuring to myself as I read one of their works — “How Many Women Had One-Person Exhibitions At NYC Museums Last Year”. The answer to that question was one. I ask, why the hell is there sexism even in art? It was a rude awakening. It’s time to tune into the facts and start rewriting what we know as reality.

Bottom Line: Hit this show posthaste and pack a snack — I know I am definitely going to make my way back once if not twice 'cause it’s that rad of a show.



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