A vibrant collection of works, by some of todays most celebrated and controversial street artists, opens at the Ulster Museum
, Friday 9 December. The exhibition showcases over 30 street artists, including the world-famous Banksy, D*Face, Sickboy, Miss Tic, Shepard Fairey and Jamie Hewlett, featured through bold and colourful prints and stickers, highlighting the diversity and talent that can be found in the street art community.
Street art is an internationally recognised urban phenomenon that crosses all boundaries and media. It is a diverse, constantly evolving art form that moves across the derelict buildings, bus shelters and hoardings of cities around the world.
The exhibition, which runs until March, explores the way street art has moved from the painted wall to other forms of media, such as printmaking, creating distinctive, exciting visuals along the way.
Kim Mawhinney, Head of Art at National Museums Northern Ireland, said the exhibition would bring a completely new kind of art to the Ulster Museum.
We like to challenge our audiences by offering a wide range of exciting exhibitions including exploring alternative concepts of art.
A lot of people have a preconceived idea about street art, which they may see as vandalism, but the art is extremely significant in the way it can be seen as social commentary, as well as influencing printmaking, mainstream graphics and advertising.
The exhibition features many international street artists including Banksy who is obviously one of the big draws because of his world famous images like Napalm and Madonna and Child. Also on display is the work of Shepard Fairey, the artist whose work became synonymous with the 2008 Obama presidential campaign.
So many of the artists have clever and provocative messages to convey through their work.
The themes covered by the artists include politics, war, religion, and our reliance on technology. While some street artists today produce commercial work for exhibitions, galleries and advertising, most still continue to work within the urban environment.
Kate Bellamy, Head of International Strategy at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, said: This is the first time the Victoria and Albert and the Ulster Museum have worked together on a touring exhibition and it is proving to be a very exciting opportunity for both organisations.
The Ulster Museum is a fantastic venue to host this exhibition which contains a range of our internationally renowned collection of prints.
The exhibition has been so well received by a diverse range of audiences at the previous venues its visited and were hoping for a really positive reaction in Belfast too.
The Ulster Museum is also exhibiting the work of the local street art community in large gallery installations running alongside the famous names. Four local street artists have been specially selected to create art as part of the Ulster Museums Tags not Labels exhibition.