“Freedom of expression is a wonderful thing so long as we do not lose our respect for humanity in the process,” reads a statement from the Triton Museum of Art’s Chief Curator Preston Metcalf.
This statement, along with so much more, is written alongside the art of a particular type of artists – graffiti and street artists, who are the subject of one of the museum’s current shows, “Spiral: Art of the Street.”
While exploring the depths of the gritty, city art seen plastered on the sides of buildings, underground in subway stations, and marking up city street signs, the museum is not condoning the illegal placement of art, but celebrating what can be considered “the soul of a city.”
While perusing the artwork of Jason Adams, Pez, and Nicole Repark a.k.a. Jocelyn Superstar, one can see the bold colors and expressed ideas of these artists. Then there is the wall dedicated to Patrick “WaDL” Hofmeister. His pieces are displayed against a background that is as much city as it is museum. Giant slabs of decorated gray and black frame these works, demanding the viewer sit back and interpret what he’s saying.
“The process of my work is very involved and varies in techniques, approaches and intent; it starts with a simple idea that I jot down (or not), then with layers, I start to build on the idea intuitively, almost as if the work ‘tells’ me where to go next,” reads Hofmeister’s statement. “I strive to make work that draws the view in from afar, pausing them momentarily as to reflect upon meaning and draw their own conclusion. Each human has had a different experience in life and has a different accumulation of memories that bring them to a certain conclusion and ideas about what something might mean. This is never THE truth, but THEIR truth and I find this interesting with each explanation about the meaning of my work I get. Since each painting had an intention or emotion, feel and overall statement of their own it is still only MY truth and not THE truth about the work.”
“Next time you are out on the streets, take a moment to look around; be open to what the streets have to say,” reads another show statement. “It’s a chance to let them teach you something – something new, something amazing, or something you just never thought about before…and for that we can all be thankful.”
“Spiral: Art of the Street” runs through Nov. 17. Visit www.tritonmuseum.org for more information.