Reading the Streets: Wooster Collective’s 10th annual show
NEW YORK – The Wooster Collective’s 10th anniversary show features a fascinating, at times dizzying greatest hits collection of street art favorites from New York and around the world, on view now at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery’s pop-up space on West 22nd Street.
A Swoon wheatpaste featuring two women holding hands greets visitors. Their faces look at the sky as if drawing power from it; the muscles in their neck straining as if relaxing means they’ll miss something essential.
Walking into the main room, I felt my neck imitating Swoon’s women, both giddy and overwhelmed. There was ZEV’s Gucci logo, dripping with gold paint arranged like expensive blood splatter. Across the hall, a series of Faile silkscreens beckoned, including grittier black and white pieces reminiscent of pulp novel covers and comic books, as well as the prettier but just as powerful images of ballerinas, infused with blues and pinks from last year’s collaboration with the New York City ballet.
Nearby, there was Shepard Fairey, accompanied by a flock of flashbulbs stood in front of an old Obey poster, featuring the ever-present, ever-imposing Andre the Giant.
Olek’s crocheted skeleton sat on a shelf in a side gallery, glittering and golden, amused at the excitement around it.
Off in a room that felt like a quiet secret, was an installation by Judith Supine, with a woman’s face hanging from the ceiling. Dangling from her ears are two other nude women, bathed in green light with their faces obscured by what looks like towels. The woman’s face is striking and strong, but the placement of the bodies is jarring, a sneaking suspicion that sometimes no matter how powerful her other features are, it’s a woman’s body that gets the most attention and aggravation.
Marc and Sara Schiller started the Wooster Collective in 2001 as a way to document the street art they see all around them in New York, eventually branching out to a website which became a forum to showcase street art from around the world. Occasionally they’ve brought the street to the gallery, arranging various shows, including 2006’s 11 Spring Street, held in an abandoned building. Here’s to 10 more.
“10 Years of Wooster Collective” is on view at 525 W. 22nd Street in New York from Aug. 7-24.
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