STREET ART FESTIVAL was an open call exhibition for works inspired by cities and urban culture, including prints from my ongoing project exploring raw graffiti, Signs No. 1 (2016, above) and Signs No. 2 (2017, below). It offered a relevant platform to show and test this iteration of the concept for the first time.
The summer festival was an opportunity to submit to an open call while providing insight into a gallery process, from paperwork and communication to framing, packaging, delivery and pricing.
The submitted works, archival pigment inkjet prints from digital designs, were made prior to the MFA but have never been exhibited before. They are part of an active series of experiments exploring found graffiti, including new projects like Jeder Traum Hat Seinen Weg (2018) and HEY (2018), and so it felt useful to try to show it to an audience for this reason.
One of the main challenges in this process was determining price as requested by the gallery, which forced me to conduct some research and enquiries. I was able to find some information but remain keen to learn more about the commercial and business aspects of the art world. The work was left unsold in the end, but the overall experience was nevertheless educational.
The annual Street Art Festival was an ideal platform for this particular work because of its connection to the core theme. It provided an appropriate context for the work and was shown to a community with a known interest in the subject. It also stimulated some feedback, some of which were constructive and encouraging as I continue to develop this project.
The open call model was useful in this instance, and can generally provide opportunities to show and/or sell work, but it also made me aware of certain potential issues, such as the work looking ‘lost’ within a sea of different styles, sizes and media. In addition to aiming to make stronger work, a degree of caution, research and sound judgment is paramount when considering submissions.