Recap: Mare139 “Art Is Study: 36 Years of Process and Influence” at Pratt

By - Monday, May 7th, 2012

Attending Mare 139’s exhibition Art Is Study: 36 Years of Process and Practice at Pratt Gallery in Manhattan, was like watching the history of all forms of hip hop in the model of contemporary art. Childhood photos framed up with graffiti sketches, colorful trains mixed in with large scale public sculptures and minimalistic work on canvas, all in a tornado that is Mare 139. A notable piece of work, originally traded with Keith Haring in 1986, combined the aesthetics of the earliest mixture of street art and graffiti. Keith was actually a big influence to Mare 139, not only in inspiration, but while Mare was developing his Modernistic style, he came across Keith Haring’s DJ and dance culture works, leaving a lasting impression on him. You could see the full expression of Mare’s practiced Modernism in his Bboy Abstract Series. Mare’s work over the years has grown to be widely accepted in the art world, yet not in the same likely boat as lo-brow art. This is partly due to his work in the urban arts education field. Mare has been working hard to help the next generation of educators understand and appreciate the urban arts, and especially graffiti art, in all of its forms. The in depth artist talk between Mare 139 and Alan Ket touched on all topics from furthering the acceptance of graffiti as an important historic art form through education, to interactive public works, to the generational differences of graffiti and what the future of graffiti looks like. Mare 139 Art Is Study: 36 Years of Process and Practice will be on display at Pratt Gallery located at 144 West 14th Street through June 2012. Text and Photos by: sheacote

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