This Weekend, The WAAS Gallery Puts Street Art On Blast.
On Saturday night, the W.A.A.S. Gallery will serve as an exhibition space for a medium of art that ordinarily sticks to everything but conventional presentation: A co-production with the Los Angeles-based Ethos Gallery and producer/curator Eddie Donaldson, “Collect Respect” will showcase original works from both local and internationally recognized graffiti and street artists.
But “Collect Respect” is unconventional in more ways than just its medium: The exhibit's works will also include a selection of found pieces that started off as collected objects from around Dallas and have since been transformed into contemporary art pieces.
Meanwhile, the artists involved are top-notch. Check out the roster of revered local and international talents alike: Cryptik, Canlove, Apex, Mr. Brainwash, John Park, Gregory Siff, Sever, Michael Delahaut (“WISE”), James Haunt, Rolland Berry, Jim Evans (“TAZ”), Brian Gibb, Slick, MQ, Soner, The Restitution Press, Sober, Hit+Run, Patricia Rodriguez, Sebastien Walker, JMR, Hatziel Flores, Sour Grapes, The London Police and Mear One.
So, yeah, it's expansive. And, in advance of this weekend's exhibition, we caught up with Donaldson to talk some about what to expect from the show and why, after making waves in the Los Angeles street art community, Donaldson's now setting his sights on the Dallas street art movement.
You live in Los Angeles. How exactly did you get involved with this project in Dallas?
Brandy Adams, the owner of WAAS, came into my gallery here in Los Angeles and bought some artwork from us, and we became friends. The idea is to create a regional partnership where we'd bring artists we're exposed to here in L.A. to Dallas and maybe after that we can help Brandy bring Dallas artists to LA.
Here at this show, though, you've got artists from each city. Is there a unified style?
All the artists are urban artists or contemporary artists with an urban aesthetic. Most of the artists have a desire for creating street art for anybody, whenever they walk down the street. Street art, it's just different. It's a lifestyle; it's not just art.
Can you explain the concept of using found objects from Dallas in this show?
Yeah, the idea behind that is taking specific pride in the city of Dallas, and kind of paying respect to the fact that Dallas has been — and always seems to remain — culturally relevant when it comes to art. There are a lot of great artists in Dallas, and there's a really great art scene on all levels. So what we've done is tried to take pieces from Dallas' past and create new artwork. So we've taken, like, fire hydrants and bricks from the street and checks from 1940 and street signs and other objects that we could find that weren't so pleasant to look at or that you might not want to put in your house and these artists put a twist on it so it becomes a new piece of work.
Which is what street artists are basically doing already, the whole aesthetic behind it.
You're absolutely right. Tagging on a street sign is the kind of stuff they're already doing. What we've done is to create a really cool installation.
How would you compare the Dallas and Los Angeles street art communities?
I don't know if I can really answer that question. I have really limited exposure. I can tell you one difference I see is the number of people doing it is obviously less — and the places people are doing it is obviously less. There's not as much of it [in Dallas]. But I would say the spirit is there, it's just not as accepted publicly as it is in Los Angeles — so, therefore, there are fewer people doing it and fewer places to do it. That's one of the things we're hoping to change, making Dallas more accepting of outdoor murals. But, y'know, that Deep Ellum wall project is awesome.
So is there more stuff in the works following the “Collect Respect” show?
Yeah. We're looking at doing something during the Art Fair in March, and then we're talking to some property owners and different people about some outdoor stuff.
Central Track is proud to help present “Collect Respect” on Saturday, September 13, at W.A.A.S. Gallery. For more information, check out the event page here.