Recap: James TOP Presents "King: The Dream Continues" at Azucarera NYC Gallery
James Top “The People’s Artist” lives up to his name once again, with his newest exhibition at the Azucarera NYC Gallery. King: The Dream Continues is the latest in a series of graffiti art shows which James Top has curated and participated in. In his latest endeavor Top continues his effort to bring graffiti back to the street level roots from which it arose, “this to me is all about progression, the progression of the civil rights movement and the progression of graffiti and not forgetting where it came from” said Top. The exhibition brings a focus to what can sometimes be forgotten in the rapidly changing graffiti world, and that to Top is the “African-American contribution to this uniquely American art form.”
The Dream Continues is an anomaly in today’s graffiti world as it present’s a moving exhibition of pieces based on the life and the words of Dr. Martin Luther King and the whole civil rights movement. The roots of what has come to define us today is depicted in the paintings, leaders from Fredrick Douglas to Barack Obama are depicted, showing an evolution of a people and of the art form. The artists also creatively play with the term king often overused in the graff game, and juxtapose that with King in reference to the late civil rights leader. Illustrations of the crown which is a common theme throughout graffiti are used in almost all the pieces. The show features pieces from artist like Duro CIA, King Bee, Lask1, Scratch, LaRonz Murray and many others.
So if you want the real street level graff game and true hip-hop culture, go check out James Top’s King: The Dream Continues, where King meets the kings at Azucarera NYC Gallery, 414 West 145 Street.
Text and Photo: Leonard Swann