By Laura Coburn
Grafitti is no longer seen as pure vandalism. Today, the craft is being highlighted in museums as fine art, transforming creative criminals into artists in the eyes of spectators. Peveto, a fine art resource management company, has partnered with UP Art Studio, a Houston graffiti and street art gallery, to host its second annual art show featuring 21 of the best local and international street artists.
“What we are featuring are guys that are trying to make the crossover from the street to fine art,” says Scott Peveto, the president of Peveto and a show organizer.
“Street art is the bastard child of graffiti,” Peveto says. “Everything is rooted in graffiti. Which has a vandalistic attitude, its criminal. But street art is sort of the cleaned up version.” And that is the very purpose of the exhibit – to eliminate the criminal stigma attached to graffiti and allow viewers to view the pieces solely as artwork.
“A lot of the graffiti guys have presented what is their version of what fine art is,” Peveto continues. “It is their time to transcend. This is their work and them being fine artists and coming from the influence of graffiti.”
Peveto says that other cities have done a better job of promoting graffiti as an art form. However, Houston has a huge population of street artists and many are among the most renowned in the world. The exhibit came at a time in which Houston has simultaneously been exploring street art as an art form. Peveto says that today Houston is commissioning street artists to do street art, murals and even corporate art.
“And it just seems to be a spark flying at the right moment and we hit it correctly,” Peveto remarks. “And it wasn’t anything that we did to try to time it. It’s just we were on the wave, along with everyone else.”
While there have been other exhibits showcasing street art recently, this show has its own twist. The show is arranged with each artist’s work on various panels across the exhibit. Many of the artists have created entire murals, integrating panels into the ensemble. Peveto says that the exhibit, which includes a more than 50 works, aims to emphasize that the participating artists are able to work in scale, enveloping entire walls.
Following the show, each of the colorful panels will be for sale. In order to create a culture of street art, it must not only be shown in museums, but also disseminated across the community. By distributing the artwork into the hands of the public, the artists can gain financial support and continue producing their art.
“While you can take home a panel, taking home a wall is also possible through commission,” Peveto explains, stressing that an exhibit is only the first step in creating a tradition of street art.
The exhibit is a step toward shedding light on the idea that street art truly is a mode of fine art. The canvas may just be slightly unconventional.
“We want Houston to emerge as a recognized center for graffiti and street art,” Peveto says. “I cannot make up the public’s mind, but what I can do is present it in the best possible way and enlist followers. If the movements can be made, it will be on the backs of the followers.”
To follow the street art movement and lead Houston to appreciate the craftsmanship and talent involved in street art and graffiti, visit the FUNKMOTOR exhibition!
3 p.m. - 11 p.m. Exhibit closes Aug. 10!
2627 Colquitt Street
Houston, Texas 77098