Poster Boy Street Alchemy 2.0 Opening Thursday at Real Art Ways in Hartford Conneticut

By - Monday, October 17th, 2011

A few weeks ago, we published a piece about a street exhibit by Poster Boy at Trinity College in Hartford being cancelled because the artist openly admits to stealing all the materials for his pieces. Fortunately, Real Art Ways, an organization dedicated to the promotion of the arts in the area, has adopted the show and is scheduled to open next Thursday Oct. 20. “Real Art Ways recognizes the importance of Poster Boy’s work on many levels, political, conceptual, historical and formal”, said John Donnelly, the Visual Arts Coordinator of RAW, who was kind enough to share some insight into the upcoming event. “The collective’s work is making a strong statement about the twisted relationship individuals have with corporations, the visual manipulation that people fall prey to everyday is atrocious. It is an abusive relationship, more and more people are becoming aware of this and are taking a stand, look at Occupy Wall Street. Poster Boys work is representative of this justified discontent. Ads exploit us, so why not exploit the ads. Rearranging these images to reveal their inherent contradictions empowers people to do the same thing in their own minds when overwhelmed by suggestive media. In a lot of ways Poster Boy’s work reminds us of how silly the whole system of advertising is, and assures us we can can resist the manipulation. “Conceptually the work also addresses topics familiar to street art, culture jamming, but it also digs deeper to draw attention to our relationship with billboards. Billboards generally pummel individuals from above seducing them through promises of success, security and savings. Poster Boy subverts this relationship, neuters these imposing images by bringing them down to eye level within a gallery space.” Indeed, RAW also proves to be an appropriate venue for Poster Boy, as he is not the first artist being featured there that has fallen victim to censorship. RAW has a history of taking on shows that were cancelled by other galleries due to controversial content. “Take David Wojnarowicz’s ‘A Fire in My Belly,’ which was removed from a group show at the National Portrait Gallery due to complaints from the Catholic League and Rep. John Boehne,” said Diana Rosen, cinema coordinator at RAW. “That video, along with a print of ‘One Day This Kid,’ were exhibited in our video room after the controversy in solidarity with the late Wojnarowicz.” Donnelly went on to say “Formally, the installation at Real Art Ways is compelling because of the intelligent way the scale, colors and shapes all function to stimulate an immersive spatial experience. The work is driven by the same visual principles that work so well in advertising, and that is why Poster Boy’s installations are so effective and compelling, because he is always engaged in opposition research: undermining visually stimulating and manipulative ads.” We’re pumped about this display of community acceptance and this sort of support coming from an established artists hub. If you’re in the area, check out the Show. Poster Boy Street Alchemy 2.0 Opens Thursday at Real Art Ways located at 56 Arbor Street in Hartford, CT Text: Wiley

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