Is graffiti art?
Vinny Pacifico, a graffiti collector for over 20 years, certainly believes so. So much so that he invited a group artists from around the world to leave their stamp on his roof in the Hunts Point meatpacking district of the Bronx. Unfortunately his roof flooded and they had to recreate the magic last summer.
The project piqued the interest of The White Room Gallery and three of its artists, who wanted to capture the perishable form of art. Last November, the Bridgehampton-based gallery convinced CES and YES2, two internationally renowned graffiti artists, to demonstrate their process, using a section of the roof as their canvas. While it wasn’t quite as daring as creating works on a subway car in the dead of night, CES noted, “It took twenty years to make it look this easy.”
On Saturday, April 2nd, The White House Gallery will debut Up on the Roof featuring Kat O’Neill, Ann Brandeis and Guy Pierno, a trio of award-winning artists. “Three local photographers documented the controversial art form of graffiti,” explained Sally Breen, Partner of The White Room Gallery. The exhibit includes the artist’s respective interpretations of the roof gallery, and also the trio’s viewpoint on whether graffiti should be considered art or vandalism.
For Brandeis, she chose to focus on the rooftop aspects she connected the most with. “My images are a visual dialogue focusing on the many paths we take throughout our life,” Brandeis noted. “I look for signs and symbols that visually describe or capture our memories — personal moments in time, which remind us of our past, sustain us through our present, and guide our future.” As for O’Neill, the project was right up her alley. “My focus on the east end has been workers, waters and what I consider wonders,” she added.
The opening reception is a not-to-be-missed happening for graffiti fans. “The legendary writers CES and YES2 will show us how it’s done on Saturday, April 2nd,” added Breen. The two icons will create new pieces during the exhibit’s premiere. The artists offer two completely different styles, yet both of their works feature a remarkable vivacity. The Up on the Roof debut will also include a video of the graffiti on the roof being produced.
Up on the Roof will be on display Saturday, April 2nd through Sunday, April 24th. The opening reception will take place on Saturday, April 2nd from 5 to 7 p.m.
The White Room Gallery is located at 2415 Main Street in Bridgehampton. For more information, visit www.thewhiteroom.gallery.