Galo Art Gallery | Turin, Italy
November 1st, 2019 - November 30th, 2019
By Danielle Marie Hurren
The magnum opus of the street is something which is quite different from other great works, for it is the ‘Memento Mori’ aspect of street culture which means that it never attempts to build itself with the hope of any outlasting glory.
That street art lives and thrives in a context of destruction is an important consideration for Drago Publishers this week as they exhibit the works of several important artists at the Galo Art Gallery, Turin.
The exhibition, which opened on Friday evening, was launched alongside a DJ Set by DJ NextONE and music from Pablo Selecta (esf records). It was an opening which showcased some of the brightest stars of Roman street art. The opening of an exhibition which allows Drago the rare opportunity to take the work of these artists out of the ‘Memento Mori’ of the streets and to place it for a limited period up in a gallery space.
To frame the work of important streets artists such as Alice Pasquini, who will soon announce the release of her anthology, Crossroads, the street art of Lucamaleonte, JBRock. On display, the is also Niccolò Berretta’s photographic research at Station Termini in Rome. As well as the work of Pepe Maniak and his soon to be released book, Trap Tattoo.
It is through the exhibition, ‘Memento Mori: All Stars,’ that Drago both remembers the art of the streets and the development of its subculture. A subculture which was developed through key figures, such as Massimo Colonna, a young break-dancer who helped to bring the dance form into the streets of Rome.
This young man is the key figure at the heart of Drago’s latest publication, ‘Crash Kid: A Hip-Hop Legacy.’ A book in which the ‘Memento Mori’ of the streets is remembered in over four hundred photographs of Massimo breakdancing with friends in the street.
A selection of these photos shall also be displayed in the gallery space and they exist as a profound documentation of one of the world’s most foremost breakdance and head spin artists. There shall also be images from photographer, Paolo Cenciarelli who, between 1998 and 2015, told the story of an epochal change in the Italian underground. A new millennium of music, concerts, tattoos and counterculture. The rap scene at the end of the nineties.
It is this aspect of ‘Memento Mori’ and its stars which Drago honours in this latest exhibition. Yet of course, as a publisher of books on street art and culture, Drago understands that it is somewhat oxymoronic for a street artist to try and outlive the streets. They are finite moments in every mural and image. But we preserved it for a while at least, on a wall, in a gallery space, as part of the Artissima Art Fair yesterday evening, when we partied the night away.
Books will be on sale for the duration of the exhibition at Galo Art Gallery, which shall run until November 30th. They shall be offered at a limited price until the end of the month. So do come along and experience the ‘Memento Mori’ of Street Art for yourself.