Yes, you read that right. This is not the museum of street art. There will be no promenading through clean, static, white-walled spaces. No security guards reminding you to stand at least a foot away from every painting lest you trip an alarm and are trapped in a steel cage that drops from a secret hatch in the ceiling. This is the Street Museum of Art., the public art project that calls for viewers to walk the streets of New York City in order to see each site-specific piece of work — taking in the smells, sounds, and "extra" sights.
Now in its second year, the Street Museum of Art — or SMoA, if you're into acronyms — is an unauthorized program of public art exhibitions that boasts free admission and limitless hours. This year's program, entitled Breaking Out of the Box features works by EKG, Futura & Os Gêmeos, gilf!, Icy & Sot, Jordan Betten, José Parlá & JR, KATSU, Kenny Scharf, Kobra, Phlegm and Stikman. In an attempt to promote thought and reflection about the difference between traditional exhibition methods and the contemporary street-art movement, SMoA’s current show focuses on the power of placement and its significance in defining the genre. Informative labels are available to provide some historical context. But more important than reading the signage is taking in the entire art experience as a whole. The time of day, uncontrollable traffic noises, NYC smells, and fellow audience members are only a few factors that will surely color each artistic encounter differently. Sounds to us like more than enough cause to visit — and visit again.
Photo: Courtesy of Street Museum Of Art.