LOCATION: Downtown; San Diego, CA

A street art enthusiasts dream has been on display in downtown San Diego…welcome to part one of my two part review.

An exhibit titled VIVA LA REVOLUCION: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape has been on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. The exhibit boasts such big names as Banksy, Os Gemeos, Shepard Fairey and Invader. Those artists alone would draw me to pay the affordable $10 entry fee (free if your under 25 and discount tickets for students). Altogether, the exhibit brings together 20 artists from 10 countries. All of them are connected in their way of addressing urban issues. A full artist list is below.

Akay (Sweden) http://www.akayism.org

Banksy (UK) http://www.banksy.co.uk

Blu (Italy) http://www.blublu.org

Mark Bradford (US)

William Cordova (US)

Date Farmers (US) http://www.thedatefarmers.com

Stephen Doitschinoff  aka CALMA (Brazil) http://www.stephendoit.com.br

Dr Lakra (Mexico)

Dzine (Puerto Rico) http://www.dzinestudio.com

David Ellis (US) http://www.davidellis.org

FAILE (Canada) http://www.faile.net

Shepard Fairey (US) http://www.obeygiant.com

Invader (France) http://www.space-invaders.com

JR (France) http://www.jr-art.net

Barry Mcgee (US)

Ryan McGinness (US) http://www.ryanmcginness.com

Moris (Mexico)

Os Gemeos (Brazil) http://www.osgemeos.com.br/

Swoon (US)

Vhils (Portugal) http://www.alexandrefarto.com

When I lived in on the east coast, specifically New York, I was excited to hear that Banksy had a new piece somewhere hidden in the city. I would spend a day searching for a single piece of work, which was hopefully still untouched. Most of the time I was unsuccessful. I either could not find his work or the piece was destroyed. I was excited when Shepard Fairey had his exhibit in NY, and then I was unable to get to the show due to popularity. I at least was able to see his work on Houstown and Bowery. Oddly living in NY left my glimpses of famous street artists work were rare. So my excitement to hear such large names were on exhibit in my new town was incredible exciting.

I recently visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla and was disappointed in the work on display. The artists’ vision was in the right place, it just did not excite me. I decided to keep my expectations at a minimum for Viva La Revolucion. In a way I am glad I did because it made the realization of the scale of work that MCASD displayed was incredibly immense. I entered the gallery and was greeted by Shepard Faireys portraits of Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

It was fitting to have these two pieces be the first that I saw. I thought of it as incredibly humble of Shepard Fairey to not put an original work within the gallery, but have the portraits of two individuals who played a role in initiating the street art movement. It gave the rest of the exhibit a timeline of progress.

The room also featured a beautifully raw piece from DATE FARMERS, as well a sculpture from Mark Bradford which depicts changing demographics in southern California.

Located in the main room was a simple flat screen television playing looped videos made by Invader and Blu.

Invader used the streets of downtown San Diego as a grid with the help of a GPS tracking system he outlines the shape of an alien. Instead of using ceramic tiles, Invader uses city blocks to create his work. This is Invaders largest creation to date. The link below is a trailer to his video as well a link to an interview with Invader. Following the links a map depicting the outline of the space invader. Each red invader signifies a ceramic tile invader hidden around downtown San Diego. I have only found one so far…Ill keep looking.

LINK: Space Invader Walk Trailer

LINK: Interview with INVADER

The video by Invader was then followed by a piece created by Blu. The artist creates murals that are critical of industry and mass consumption. Blu commonly uses stop motion technology to bring his murals to life to span great distances. Blu incorporates architecture, trash, natural elements as well as paint in his work. In the piece “Big Bang Big Boom” he depicts the evolution of the universe and mankind, which eventually ends in our destruction. The piece seems to be never ending and Blu continually out does himself over and over again in this single video. It is best if you view the work your self. The link below will take you to the same video being shown in the exhibit

LINK: BLU – Big Bang Big Boom

My favorite part of the exhibit was the room almost completely dedicated to Banksy. There has been times when I lived in NYC were I would search for his work with no luck. One day in particular were I ended the day soaking wet. I was surprised to walk into one of the side rooms and be greeted by a wall of prints solely by him.

This exhibit wasn’t just limited to what was shown in the museum. As I left I was told about the walking tour around downtown San Diego. Several of the artists created murals and pieces through out the city of San Diego. I was handed a map of all the locations. I’ll be going more in depth in part two of this review.

The exhibit ends January 2nd. So I suggest you get to the museum as soon as possible. If you don’t live in the San Diego area then take a look at the official site.


Til next time….keep a look out for part two of this review….and thanks again for reading!


1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

interesting info and imformative and thanks for that.

Comment by Jimmy

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