An Urban Art History Museum; When?
Did you ever ponder the idea of New York City having its own museum dedicated to its rich and lustrous history of urban art culture? Much like how we give a rounded-off date to the start of the Italian Renaissance (1440), we can also do the same to the start of the New York Graffiti genre (1970). Technically it was actually 1969 when "Taki 183" began to tag his name on the subway lines. By the end of the turbulent decade of the 1960s, as America was poised to begin the 70's, the art world was dominated by Minimalism, Super-Realism and Pop Art, but another global art movement was beginning to appear beneath the surface of the streets and sprout seeds for not only a genre but for an entirely new culture that would one day dominate popular-culture.
With over five decades of NY Graffiti Art, combined with three decades of Street Art, why hasn't a museum been built to honor and exhibit this urban art movement? New York is the capital of the Graffiti Art movement and the place of origin for its global spread that today can be seen in major cities around the world, but yet NY does not honor itself by this fact with a museum to crown its legendary history and its status as a leading contemporary post-urban art megatropolis today.
Why hasn't this notion to erect a museum come to fruition by now? Could it be that Graffiti and Street Art do not have a place among the other art genres such as, Impressionism, Dadaism, Futurism and the lot? Could it have something to do with it once being looked down upon as the art of the "sub-culture"? Since the early 1980's, Graffiti artists have been noticed by and continue to exhibit in the NY gallery scene, which is a very lucrative market and considered the hottest art people are investing in these days, still NYC has nothing to show for what it gave the world two scores and ten years ago.
The next article will explore a more in depth look at those pioneers of the NY Graffiti and Street Art movement.