Street Life Street Art Opening Day In A Word…Muy Caliente

Street Fair on Opening Day of "Street Art Street Life" at the Bronx Museum

The weather on Sunday was sizzlin’ and steamy for the Bronx Museum of the Arts opening day fair of “Street Art Street Life.” It felt more like July than September. A lot of us were swarming around the Delicioso Coco Helado pushcart.  I slurped on a coconut icee (yummm) which helped…for about five minutes.

Offerings from local artists.
Exhibition Catalogue available by co-publisher Aperture
Exhibition catalogue on display.

The sidewalk in front of the museum was lined with local artisans and graffiti artists tempting us with paintings, drawings, pottery, jewelry and one of a kind hand printed garments and totes.

Chiz brought her farm animal prints.
Chiz brought her farm animal prints to the Grand Concourse.

I was happy to see, and meet, Bronx painter Chiz.  I love her sock monkeys! If I ever wanted to write a children’s book, I’d love to have her illustrate.

Bronx Museum staff, Holly Block Executive Director and Sergio Bessa, Director of Education
Bronx Museum staff, Holly Block Executive Director and Sergio Bessa, Director of Education

Holly Block, Museum Executive Director and Sergio Bessa, Director of Education stepped into the sidewalk “photo booth” for a portrait.

DJ Laylo spins on the ones and twos.
DJ Laylo spins on the ones and twos takin' us waaayyy back...

Tucked away in probably the coolest spot on the sidewalk, DJ Laylo was blending some serious old school beats and keeping the vibe super cool.

Rokafella, Hip Hop dancer Extraordinaire!
b-girl, Rokafella, Hip Hop dancer Extraordinaire!
One Hand Handstand by Hip Hop dancer from Geo and Friends
One Hand Handstand by Hip Hop dancer from Geo and Friends

Inside the museum, Hip Hop dance performances were every hour to the beats of DJ Scientific behind the tables.  We caught b-girl Rokafella and Geo and Friends.  (Rokafella, an artistic director and dance instructor, organized all the dance performances.) Their head spins, shoulder spins, locks and handstands kept the Museum rockin’.

Bronx Museum Lobby
Bronx Museum Lobby "Street Art Street Life" Opening Day

The exhibition itself was not what I thought it would be, a survey of street arts in the Bronx and the Hip Hop movement.  “Street Art Street Life” is a broader look at street life post World War II to present day with selected moments of life on the streets of cities and towns well beyond the Bronx — of India and Austria and Berlin for example.   Guest curator Lydia Yee has selected work from a range of 39 artists and photographers including Vito Acconci, Amy Arbus, Jamel Shabazz, Lee Friedlander, Yoko Ono, Adrian Piper and Joseph Beuys. We went through the gallery quickly. I know I need to go back and spend more time. I look forward to it.

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