Joseph Meloy
Something, 2013
Ink, oil, spray paint on paper, 7 x 5 in
$650

Joseph Meloy,
Hieroglyph 5, 2013
Acrylic on Canvas, 40 x 30 in
$3,000

Joseph Meloy,
Hieroglyph 2, 2013
Acrylic on Canvas, 40 x 30 in
$3,000

Joseph Meloy,
Jackpot, 2013
Ink, oil, spray paint on paper, 7 x 5 in
$650

Joseph Meloy,
Hermit Crab 2013
Ink, oil, spray paint on paper, 7 x 5 in
$650

Joseph Meloy
Big Mushroom Satellite, 2013
Ink, oil, spray paint on paper, 7 x 5 in
$650

Herb Smith
Untitled, 2013
Oil on panel, 11 ½ x 11 ½ in
$2,000

Herb Smith
Untitled Duck, 2013
Pencil on paper, 8 x 9 ½ in
$1,000

Herb Smith
Untitled Bird, 2013
Pencil on paper, 8 x 9 ½ in
$1,000

Chris RWK
To the Future and Back, 2013
Mixed media on Canvas, 12 x 12 in
$1,200

Chris RWK
All Work No Play Makes…, 2013
Mixed media on Canvas
24 x 12 in

Chris RWK
Childhood Starts it All, 2013
Mixed media on Canvas, 12 x 12 in
$1,200

Chris RWK
Glass Houses, 2013
Mixed media on Canvas, 24 x 12 in
Sold

Chris RWK
Untitled, 2013
Ink on Paper, 11 x 14 in
$750

Chris RWK
Untitled, 2013
Ink on Paper, 11 x 14 in
$750

Joseph Meloy
Installation 28 images, 2013
Ink, oil, spray paint on paper
7 x 5 in

Beyond Literacy

with works by Joseph Meloy, Chris RWK, and Herb Smith.

January 8 – February 1, 2014

Galerie Protégé is pleased to present Beyond Literacy, an examination of emerging street art with works by Joseph Meloy, Chris RWK, and Herb Smith.

In the 1980’s, murals would speed by on passing trains in subway stations. Break-dance culture and hip-hop entered the mainstream in New York City in ways that would change the fabric of global society. Still, there remained a lingering stigma connected to the visual manifestation of the streets.

A masterpiece was thrown up on a wall that was once masked over by a fresh coat of paint by those that were considered “vandals”. If only the work had been brought forth by a provincial member of the art community, the work would have been permitted to exist. Keith Haring’s Crack is Wack mural on the east side of Harlem is one fast example.

Otherness became sexy and the notion of the “outsider” was embraced by the art world as the quest for a new fetish reared its head. Anonymity was a necessity and the tag was a proxy name for the artist. Collectors who would frequent galleries now looked to the streets.

Works by street artists are now being sold at auction for six figures, yet myths of a pseudo-criminal distinctiveness exists as validation. Beyond Literacy highlights four artists who use both the language of the streets and art in their practice. The works in the exhibition are a reminder of how a work by the likes of Richard Serra is never questioned -- whether housed a public space or shown at a gallery. Now that the historic 5 Pointz has been painted over, alarm bells are ringing as street art’s contribution to the contemporary sentiment should no longer be considered defacement, but rather, a celebrated piece of art history. ¬