Goldie‘s latest art exhibtion at Shoreditch’s Maverik Showroom packs a punch…
A reaction to society’s ASBO nation created by the government or a great excuse to jump on the anti-establishment graffiti bandwagon? Perhaps a little bit of both, but judging by the price tags at Goldie’s latest exhibition at Maverik in Shoreditch, only the minted will be buying, be they the likes of former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown or City slickers wanting to feel street because they’re anything but.
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AK-47s, camouflage gear, Cuban cigars and keffiyehs (the ubiquitous Palestinian scarf) adorning defiant young women take up a good part of gallery space, while the rest is filled by a series of tongue-in-cheek ‘For Sale/To Let’ signs, framed paintings and objects all tinged with dark humour and flashes of vibrant colour.
There’s no doubting Goldie’s (real name Clifford Price) artistic talents, the impresario who began his career as a street artist in his teens has continually upped his game over the decades as musician, actor and most recently classical conductor. But the question remains, as a street artist, are you selling out when you put your work in a gallery with a four figure price tag or more? Does street art lose its edge and egalitarianism when removed from the chaos of the urban jungle and tamed within photo frames and the civilising surrounds of art galleries and auction houses?
Street art puritans may think so, but these are changing times. Since Banksy’s star has been in ascendance there’s been no stopping the bourgeoisie’s excitement and enticement of an art form that has been prevalent in this country for decades, albeit in a niche, underground fashion. Until now that is. And so such art will continue to exchange the hands of dealers and buyers, where in the past they were shunned, because what was once viewed as alternative has now arguably become mainstream.
That’s not to say street art has lost its cool, or its socio-political voice; it just depends on the creator. So why shouldn’t authentic street artists such as Goldie cash in? After all, he was holding graffiti exhibitions long before it was on the radar and the interior walls of the rich.
As any true entertainer will concur, he’s only giving his audience what they want.
The Kids Are All Riot, until April 26. Admission: Free. Maverik Showroom, 68-72 Redchurch Street, E2.