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Pop the Streets at Saatchi Gallery

  • Saatchi Gallery
February 4, 2015

An urban and street art spectacle is happening this month in London. The Saatchi Gallery organizes an exhibition of works by 10 contemporary graffiti and street artists from around the world. Curated by Olly Walker (Ollystudio, London), the show will illustrate the influence of Pop Art on the concepts and works of the artists. With an attractive title Pop the Streets, this exhibition’s concept perfectly connects new and original works, many of them created especially for this show, with the Pop Art movement that largely influenced the shape of the contemporary street and urban art.

Saatchi Gallery
Ben Turnbull – JFK 11.22.63, Limited edition digital print

Olly Walker’s Curatorial Work

The high quality of the Pop the Streets exhibition is guaranteed, having in mind that it is curated by Olly Walker, founder of the London-based Ollystudio, and certainly one of the most notable connoisseurs of contemporary graffiti and street art. Walker developed his own studio practice; he participated in urban and street art group works, curated exhibitions, collaborated with a variety of artists. Additionally, this is not the first time that Walker’s studio curates an exhibition at Saatchi Gallery. He has been involved in selling artworks by internationally recognized artists, and being a significant part of the global street art scene, Walker once again collaborates with the Saatchi Gallery. If you want to know more about the work of Olly Walker, or to hear about his thoughts about the recent developments in contemporary art he follows, check out the interview that Widewalls had with Olly just two week ago.

Saatchi Gallery
Left: ALO – Dog, Acrylic & mixed media on wood, 51 x 61 cm / Right: Paul Insect, Clockwork Britain, Spraypaint and screenprint on canvas

Artists of the Pop the Streets Show

The artists that have been selected to exhibit at this exhibition are Alaric Hammond, ALO, Ben Frost, Ben Turnbull, CEPT, Nick Walker, Orticanoodles, Paul Insect, Rene Gagnon and Sten & Lex. Each of these artists and artistic collectives are characterized by an original approach and the techniques they use, as well as the specific themes they are dealing with. ALO, for example, is known for his street-portraits, often painting the marginalized or subjugated members of society. On the other hand, Ben Frost is famous for his colorful subversive and caricature representations of global brands, logos and different popular culture products, criticizing the consumeristic society. Orticanoodles’ portraits of famous leaders, provocative artists and celebrities are very popular among wider audience. Each artist and artistic group brings his/their own artistic signature to this exhibition. What all of them have in common is that they usually use art as a tool of the critic of contemporary society, which is generally one of the main features of urban and street art. Finally, their works represent the result of the great influence that the Pop Art movement had on this specific form of art in the last few decades.

Saatchi Gallery
Left: Alaric Hammond, Super Glutt / Right: Orticanoodles, I Don’t Know Anyone WHo Actually Does Care What a Critic Says, Spraypaint and stencil on canvas

Pop the Street at Saatchi Gallery

As Olly Walker mentioned, Pop the Street show has potential to change some establishment views on contemporary graffiti and street art. Famous British painter and collage artists Richard Hamilton once said that Pop Art is “popular, transient, expendable, law-cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous and Big Business”. Pop the Street will show that street art adopted all these criteria, but the street art is also political and relevant, as this exhibition will demonstrate. All the works will be available for sale during the show. If you follow graffiti and street art, you should definitely visit this exhibition, not only because of the artists presented, but also in order to keep track with the latest developments. The exhibition Pop the Streets can be viewed at the Prints & Originals Gallery at the Saatchi Gallery, London from February 4th to  March 2nd.

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Saatchi Gallery
Sten & Lex – Untitled, Stenciled work on wood
Saatchi Gallery
CEPT – The Force Within, Acrylic, enamel & varnish on wood

Featured Image: ALO, Dog (detail) All Images Courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery. [mc4wp_form]