Beyond the Streets, now on display across all three floors at the Saatchi Gallery, is a vibrant exhibition, featuring the works of over 100 contemporary street artists, street art history, fashion, and immersive installations. This exhibition pays homage to monumental moments from the worlds of graffiti, street art, fashion, hip-hop, punk and rock and to the artists who have eternalised them, creating a revolutionary culture within the public sphere.
Graffiti is an art which is seen everywhere, it is rebellious in its nature, and is seen as a powerful form of art. Street art originated in ‘underground cultures’ like hip-hop, rhythm and blues, and the garage scene, and is heavily linked to urban cultures. In this comprehensive, exciting exhibition, each room is unique and displays various styles of street art, whilst commemorating pivotal moments in history which have led to shifts in culture, influencing art, fashion and the media. One of my favourite displays is from the works of Jamie Reid, a British artist and political activist, who co-founded the radical political magazine ‘Suburban Press’ in the 1970s. He is famously known for designing albums for the British punk-rock band, the Sex Pistols. The imagery he developed was revolutionary for the time as it broke barriers, famously with his ‘God save the Queen’ artwork. It is now a recognised, defining image in Britain.
As well as displaying iconic artwork such as this, the exhibition displays the works of artists we may not have heard of but have influenced the street art scene tremendously. Curated by graffiti historian, Roger Gatsman, Beyond the Streets is a visual masterpiece which highlights the impact of the everyday art around us. Alongside the brightly coloured walls of work, the exhibition has constructed record shops, a Ralph Lauren boutique store and Kenny Scharf’s Day-Glo room – all of which maximise the experience. On the opening day of the exhibition, Kenny Scharf took to the walls of the Saatchi Gallery and live painted one of his iconic images which you can see just outside of the room. It was truly brilliant to watch!
This exhibition is one which you must see before it’s gone. Each room displays a variety of art styles, which is bound to draw in people across all sections of society. The entire gallery has been transformed by the artists, quite unlike any other exhibition I have been to. It is a tribute to historic shifts in music, fashion and culture from the 60s onwards, and also to modern styles of art and culture. Supported by Adidas, across the gallery we also see a collection of streetwear and sneakers. I must also give a special mention to the work of HUSKMITNAVN, an anonymous graffiti artist known particularly for his colourful, retro-bubble characters. I found his distinct style of art captivating. I am sure that each person will discover a new artist who will captivate them in the same way. You can get entirely lost in this exhibition as there is a great deal to take in. On display until 9 May 2023, I would highly recommend paying a visit!
Review by Ridha Sheikh
Ridha is a volunteer writer for Abundant Art. She is a recent History and Politics graduate from Queen Mary – University of London. Ridha is excited to explore and share her strong passion for London’s art scene.
Tickets and information: https://www.saatchigallery.com/exhibition/beyond_the_streets_london
BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON at Saatchi Gallery, London open 17 February – 9 May 2023. Tickets from £15. The exhibition headline supporter is adidas Originals. Support also provided by LA Tourism Boards and onefinestay.
Saatchi Gallery London, presents BEYOND THE STREETS LONDON, 17 February – 9 May with headline supporter adidas
Originals (c) Matt Chung