Photography meets graffiti meets fashion meets NY history! Sounds a bit off, but it’s the very epitome of the upcoming exhibition entitled Unextinguished, soon to be open at MECKA Gallery in Bushwick, New York, by two amazing ladies. Martha Cooper, the long time heroine of the street art world, and a badass graffiti chick, ELLE will transform the gallery space into a multi-media capsule, redefining and refining the rough edges of the street, transposing them into complex and coherent set of imagery.
Unextinguished opens on April 26 and it will run through May 10 at the MECKA Gallery in NYC.
Unextinguished is a collaborative show based upon the iconic book by Martha Cooper, Street Play. The publication is a collection of photographs of creative children playing in the streets of New York in the late 1970s. Using paper as the dominant medium, ELLE produced a line of dresses that will act as the focal points of the exhibition, while ELLE’s dresses use printed photographs by Cooper as the clothing fabric. Selected photographs by Martha Cooper and some of ELLE’s omnipresent wheat-pasted posters will be placed on the walls of the warehouse gallery space, reaching an impressive scale. This multi-layered artistic event will be complemented by a video of a performance by the two artists, shot by Dega Films. The video will be projects onto the wall of the space featuring final moves in dressmaking and finish of the elaborate joint body of work.
The exhibition will be an homage to the Cooper’s Street Play book and to her iconic black and white photographs picturing the origins of the street art movement. The book will be used as a photographic and conceptual foundation for the project. The pages of this acclaimed publication showcase children who play by turning trash into precious objects and make the streets their own playground. The late 1970s photos are to be placed next to, or rather against, today’s captions of New York streets emphasizing the difference between two eras. Once a popular children’s game tied to the street, Skelly, depicted very often in the book, serves as the inspiration for the geometric grid upon which the installation and the exhibition are built.
The Unextinguished creativity, the inextinguishable life of street art and artistic force of the two prominent women in the world of street art will be embodied in fire extinguishers filled with paint, protective suits, soft rainbow colors, mannequins, hand painted prints, photographs and gold plated sculptures that can be worn. The show promises to be a unique mix of street artistic practices and concepts spanning over decades, while prominently featuring two important figures of the field, with compatible, but very different artistic approaches.
Unextinguished is produced by Jerry Riggs, while video is shot and produced by Dega Films. The show is realized with the help of Liquitex providing the materials, drinks provided by Sixpoint Brewery, accompanied by an exclusive T- shirt edition by MISHKA NYC available for purchase at the MECKA Gallery during the exhibition, along with other fashionable goodies.