Bomb It! at the University of North Texas

Graffiti inspires works in upcoming exhibition

Bomb It! will be showing at the upcoming graffiti exhibition at the University of North Texas at 6 p.m., March 10, in the Visual Resource Center, Room 224 in the UNT Art Building. Here is more info on the entire event

What: Graff, Tag and Bomb: The Influence of Graffiti — An exhibition of graffiti-influenced art presented by the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design. Sour Grapes, a group of Oak Cliff-based graffiti artists, will create a graffiti mural outside the UNT Art Building as part of the exhibition.

When/Where: Exhibition dates: March 3 (Tuesday) – March 28 (Saturday) in the UNT Art Gallery in the UNT Art Building, one block west of Mulberry and Welch streets. Gallery hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Opening reception featuring disc jockey Juan Solo: 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. March 3 (Tuesday) in the UNT Art Gallery.

Film and discussion: “Bomb It”, 6 p.m. March 10 (Tuesday) and “Bomb the System” March 24 (Tuesday) at the Visual Resource Center, Room 224 in the UNT Art Building

Cost: Free

Contact: UNT Art Gallery at (940) 565-4005 or visit www.gallery.unt.edu.

DENTON (UNT), Texas — Graffiti doesn’t just exist in shadowy underpasses and on sides of buildings. Professional artists are incorporating the techniques and look of graffiti in their gallery artwork, as seen this March in a University of North Texas art exhibition that will include a group of Oak Cliff-based graffiti artists creating an outdoor mural.

The UNT College of Visual Arts and Design presents Graff, Tag and Bomb: The Influence of Graffiti, an exhibition that shows how street art influences gallery art. The exhibition explores the difference between street graffiti and a more practiced, evolved kind of graffiti-inspired gallery art, said Victoria DeCuir, assistant director of the UNT Art Gallery, organizer of the exhibition and a former graffiti artist herself.

“Graffiti artists aren’t just a bunch of hoodlum vandals,” DeCuir said. “When you’re dealing with quality graffiti, artists use a lot of aesthetic thoughtfulness, and we’re highlighting that inherent thoughtfulness using four artists as examples by showcasing their gallery work.”

Works by the four Dallas-area artists — Tony Bones, Sergio Garcia, Mark S. Nelson and Soner — will be on display March 3 (Tuesday) – March 28 (Saturday) in the UNT Art Gallery in the UNT Art Building, one block west of Mulberry and Welch streets. An opening reception from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 3 (Tuesday) in the gallery will feature disc jockey JuanSolo.

The four artists navigate a balance between high and low culture and an art practice deemed simultaneously illegitimate and marketable, DeCuir said.

“I used to make graffiti art myself when I was a teen-ager,” DeCuir said. “I would do horses and cats — the kinds of things that 14-year-old girls like to draw. It’s no coincidence that I ended up studying and devoting my life to visual culture and art in particular. At the time, we were just doing what we liked to do, and we weren’t thinking of it as some sort of future in fine art, but it does draw along the trajectory in many of our lives. Now, I want to educate people about the difference between rudimentary line tagging and a more elaborate, thought-out process.”

Sour Grapes, an Oak Cliff-based graffiti crew, will use its graffiti skills to paint a double-sided temporary wall — about 40 feet wide and 10 feet tall — at noon March 7 (Saturday) outside the UNT Art Building. The painting process, which is expected to take about eight to 10 hours, will be videotaped for later viewing inside the exhibition.

In conjunction with the exhibition, two films about graffiti art will be shown. The independent documentary “Bomb It,” directed by John Reiss, shows interviews with international graffiti artists who tell of the history, influence and lasting impact of graffiti as an art medium and cultural phenomenon. “Bomb It” will be shown at 6 p.m. March 10 (Tuesday) in the Visual Resource Center (Room 224) in the Art Building.

The second film,” Bomb the System,” shows a romanticized Hollywood portrait of an outlaw graffiti artist torn between a future in fine art and the streets of New York City. The film will be shown at 6 p.m. March 24 (Tuesday) in the Visual Resource Center.

Sponsors of the exhibition include Sherwin-Williams in Denton and Rec Shop in Dallas.

UNT Art Gallery hours are noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108
Contact: Ellen Rossetti (940) 369-7912
Email: erossetti@unt.edu

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