The transition from the street to the gallery is a path many graffiti writers have taken over the course of the past forty years, moving between two very different world found in the same city. Both worlds are filled with politics, drama, and intrigue, yet in many ways they are diametrically opposite. On the street, there is no monetary reward, just honor and bragging rights. On the street, writers evade police and other writer’s beefs. Whereas, in the gallery, everything is white walls, white wine, and price lists.
No Romance Galleries recently hosted “Enterprises,” a private viewing of recent works by Russell Murphy, aka CASH4, a New York-based graffiti writer. Murphy is a painter and illustrator who deftly uses the urban vernacular to create a cohesive visual world, presenting a seamless transition between the street and the gallery. His artworks are intense, intimate affairs, deep, visceral responses to the dark forces of our times. There is a profound feeling of alienation, a sense that the abyss is near, and we find ourselves headed to the brink in vibrant, violent style.
With works titled “Generic Apocalypse”, “Soldier’s Duty”, and “Death Looms”, there’s the ever-present reminder that destruction is near, and what is happening now is the inevitable calm before the storm. Echoing the fate of countless men and women throughout time is the sense that we are all headed towards the same ends. We are only as strong as our weakest link.
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