Paint It Black

Heard about this Paris graf exhibition (from at the Galerie Magda Danysz in the 11th arrondissement and decided to hit it today. Not bad for free, but disappointed overall. For Graffiti to bill itself as “an exhibition showing its impact… saying something about where this whole movement stands today,” the gallery came up real short on the actual graf.

Upstairs, only French writer Psyckoze(PSY, p.k.a. Alex Stolypine) of the 156 crew really comes closest to the old school graf anyone would expect from an exhibit called Graffiti. His pieces are actually 5 × 5 miniature canvas paintings of little Parisian graf scenes: bombed métro trains, writers in the process of getting up their work. Downstairs, they show a video installation Good Bye Privacy_ Emostreet Chapterby Lokiss (p.k.a. Vincent Elka): two concurrently running projection movies. One shows clips of a guy bombing tree roots with spraypaint; the other has white guys in each other’s face shouting soundlessly, intercut with other things. I personally didn’t find it that interesting, which is being polite. The work of José Parlá, more 70s/80s-looking graf, was also best among the exhibit’s eight artists.

Lokiss and COPE2 (whose work I actually couldn’t find in the exhibit, though the flier mentions him) are featured in Bomb It, a graf documentary currently making the rounds internationally, which looks a lot more my flavor. Bomb It debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in April and opens in Brazil this Thursday at the São Paulo International Film Festival. For free, I could only be too disappointed, but Graffiti tanked for my tastes. Below, director Jon Reiss speaks on Bomb It. Should I help set up a Paris screening?