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Vandalism or art? How about both

'Bez názvu' by Jiří Georg Dokoupil. Photo: Bohemist
By BOHEMIST STAFF

PRAGUE – Mounting street art including smashed trolley wheels, haunting heads and a 5 metre x 4 metre fluoro lighting installation in a high end gallery in Josefov is a pretty bold move.

Hard up against elite designers and 200 koruna cupcakes hardly seems like the place for self-described graffitists, but exhibition curator Edmund Čučuk sees the six featuring contributors as true artists.

“Exhibited will be an aspect of these artist’s work, which will in some way relate to graffiti, however, not in a direct way,” Čučuk said in a press release for the exhibition.

The exhibition is titled ‘Reverse’ and aims to reverse common misconceptions about graffiti artists through the artists themselves in a way reversing their mediums.

Renowned Czech graffitist Jakub Matuška, aka Masker, has had a relationship with the gallery for the past eight years and was the first Czech graffiti artists to have a solo exhibit at the national gallery in Prague. Masker will be turning his work almost literally on its head with a series of three-dimensional glass graffiti “faces”.

“The exhibition Reverse gives space to different mediums and generations of artists,” Čučuk said. “It is not about the dark side of graffiti, but rather a common space, a unique mark that peacefully transforms into the field of contemporary art and creates a new visual landscape, which is similarly close to tagged street facades as clean walls of a gallery.”

Graffiti is largely illegal world over. Prague is unique in that is one of very few cities where graffiti is legal in certain areas. Tesnov near Florenc metro is a municipal-sanctioned graffiti zone. More well-known of course is the Lennon Wall. Aside from this, all forms of graffiti are illegal under section 182 of the Czech Criminal Code.

While graffiti across Prague is a common site, unfortunately many wielding a spray can are capable of little more than drafting their initials.

In the wake of the proliferation of such uninspired graffiti, Flow East, a group dedicated, rather, enthusiastically, to the eradication of all graffiti has sprung up in the city.

DSC Gallery and the many who have already left glowing Facebook reviews of the Reverse exhibition would tend to disagree with Flow.

 

Bohemist

Bohemist is an upstart news outlet serving the Czech Republic. Feel free to write us at editor@bohemist.cz.

About Bohemist

Bohemist is an upstart news outlet serving the Czech Republic. Feel free to write us at editor@bohemist.cz.

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