A Transition From Graffiti to Fine Art: Beverly Hills

April 21, 2015 12:09 AM

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The textbook definition of exclave is "a piece of land which is politically attached to a larger piece but not physically conterminous with it because of surrounding foreign territory." According to Gerald Breaux Kelly, the curator of a new exhibition, Intro, at Exclave Gallery in Beverly Hills, the gallery takes its name from this political phenomenon. The concept is related to the lack of underrepresented artwork on display in the regional galleries that has its origins in the local streets, or artists that have not had the traditional tools or schooling of commonplace fine artists. In nearby galleries you can catch armed guards and bulletproof vehicles unloading a Picasso or a Matisse, while at Exclave the artists will literary unload a canvas from the back of their trunk themselves. In a way, the city of Beverly Hills and its environs is a metaphor of the foreign territory, while the gallery is a direct representative of greater Los Angeles. It's as if Exclave Gallery planted a flag in the middle of this fashionable zip code. But the question really is, Why not? The building is owned by a publisher of technological software, who understands the necessity to stir things up in Beverly Hills, similar to what the Sweeney's did at the El Segundo Museum of Art.

As the acceptance of graffiti, street art, urban artwork or underground counterculture ideology takes the world by storm, the integrity and credibility of the artists is what's at stake. Perhaps the general public view them as simple artists from the streets that are currently in vogue, or perhaps m...

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