Having witnessed the basquiatism and banksymania of yesteryears, it is not hard to understand why every gallery wants the street into their space and mix it gently with other genres. Simply, in order to afford their high street venues it pays to cater for a broad audience. Trouble is, though, the end result is chalk and cheese at best, and irrelevant at worst.
As for the mixing, it is not what Red Propeller does. Neither does it do the high street. The online gallery shows the curatorial courage of going exclusively for urban art as its speciality, and what a splendid job it is doing of just that.
At a loss for better words, it is like a breath of fresh air in a room full of farts.
You can argue with success but you’d be wrong
Behind the ‘propeller’ part of the name, you find a genuine intention of first locating under-exposed emerging talent amongst more established names, and then propel them into a better career as artists.
It certainly is an exciting bunch of people Red Propeller has found. In its stable you find the names of Russ Mills alias Byroglyphics, Flavio Falena, TRXTR, Ian Francis and Angel 41. The gallery also represents Guy Denning the emigré artist – and former stuckist who nips across the pond from France to take part in street art festivals occasionally.
The gallery calls its stock urban art, and wisely so. See the troubled umbrella term ‘Street’ entered the art vernacular to address the precursors for this type of art some 30+ years ago. But more often than not, the street was soon replaced first by cold garages and then by heated studio spaces. In turn it explains the choice of a more honest name tag for the phenomenon.
However, the pedigree of the artists may still be that of having been ill adjusted middle-class kids insisting on being riff-raff. It may all have started with spray cans and stencils, and it may all have begun by risking being sentenced to community service for the inability to pay for ‘cleaning’ up Bristol, London or Manchester. It really does not matter any more. What really matters is that the raw creativity now finds its way into the homes of intelligent collectors.
You can find out more about Red Propeller Gallery by visiting their official website.
Images by courtesy of the gallery and its artists, © all rights reserved.
Top: Angel 41, ‘Raynor shine’, mixed media, emulsion and acrylic on canvas (cropped for this article)
Middle right: Guy Denning, ‘Hello Fucker’, Charcoal, conte, newsprint, and oil on paper 34x50xcm
Top right: Flavio Falena, ‘White Rabbit #2’, signed limited edition print 47x61cm
Bottom right: James Baker, ‘Kings of Kumasi’, limited edition, 61x61cm
The Street Art Project by Google Cultural Institute