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Urban Art Fair launched in Paris last year, and has since had two editions there. After attracting around 20,000 visitors over the course of its two years, it opens for the first time in New York on Thursday, June 29, at Spring Studios.
“More than ever, we want to create bridges between urban art and contemporary art without undermining the essence of the urban art movement,” said Yannick Boesso, director of the Urban Art Fair. “We simply try to select artists who have best made the transition from streets to galleries, and whose creativity goes beyond street standards.”
The location will play host to 24 leading street art galleries, like Jonathan LeVine Gallery (Jersey City), Red Birds Galleries (New York), The Bushwick Collective (Brooklyn), Fabien Castanier Gallery (Miami), and WallWorks NY (Bronx), as well as European galleries Brugier-Rigail (Paris), Urban Spree (Berlin), Galerie 42b (Paris), Galerie Joel Knafo Art (Paris), Bel Air Fine Art (Geneva), and Art In The Game (London).
On view are pieces from artists like Futura 2000, SEEN, Banksy, Keith Haring, Noé-Two, Swoon, and Michael De Feo—all with differing takes and disciplines on the creation of street art. Photographers Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant will also be present as the fair’s guests of honor, as will their historic documentation of the New York graffiti scene.
“Each gallery represents an important part of the movement—from the original, and still the best, FUN Gallery (32 years after [its closing]), through U.S. historic [galleries] like Jonathan LeVine and Fabien Castanier,” said Boesso. “[There are] curators, crews, and galleries from Marrakech to East Village, and less renowned in N.Y., but very expected, French outsiders like PDP Gallery and Art in The Game.”
Patti Astor’s FUN Gallery returns this year with a pop-up exhibit displaying 14 artists from its 1980s roster. Flyers, music, video, and photographs from Astor’s personal collection will be on view, highlighting a pioneering cultural journey from artists like Jimmy DeSana, Marcia Resnick, Maripol, Tseng Kwong Chi, David Armstrong, Anita Rosenberg, Ricky Powell, and Michael Marcos. In addition to rare works for sale from artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, the pop-up, hosted by Astor herself, will also be the site for live performances.
Other performances, installations, and sculptures can be found on the rooftop and in the outdoor spaces of Spring Studios, including work by Hopare, Levalet, CRASH, Mark Jenkins, and Noé-Two, who is set to perform during the opening reception on Thursday night between 6-10 p.m.
In conjunction with the Urban Art Fair, Les Nouveaux Créateurs is debuting its first fashion-focused exhibition, “Urban Influence,” located on the mezzanine level. The show brings together unique pieces from an international group including JonOne, Lek, and agnés b who have elevated our understanding of urban fashion, alongside Michael De Feo, known as “The Flower Guy,” of recent fashion collaborations with leading brands like J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, and Christian Louboutin.
“There are so many disciplines and trends within the urban art movement that I felt necessary to make official room for it on the art market,” said Boesso. “To find a place and time to gather all of its actors, break down the codes of the movement, and give some clues for aficionados to understand it better.”