Franklin Furnace Announces An Installation
For Immediate Release
August 15, 1988
Founder and Director
Hello My Name Is...
Graffiti Stickers Collected & Curated by Buckman / Magnusson / Spiller
Opening, Friday, September 23, 1988, 6-8 PM.
on view through October 15, 1988.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 11-6 PM; Saturdays, 12-6 PM.
Over 3000 graffiti stickers peeled from the streets of New York will be shown together on one wall for the first time. Believed to be the only the only collection of its kind in the world, these hand-made graffiti stickers are a new art form that provides colorful clues about our city's vibrant street culture. The thousands of graffiti writers represented in "Hello My Name Is..." treat many topics, including pop culture, music, sex, drugs, fashion, politics, religion, and more. The stickers cover a tremendous range of aesthetics, including styles distinct to each borough of New York City, the center of the graffiti movement. In the past, true graffiti was only visible on actual walls and trains, but this is the first time that real graffiti will be seen in a museum.
This is the second in a series of Franklin Furnace exhibitions about graffiti. The first, Melee, highlighted the work of writers who made it into the mainstream galleries and collections. "Hello My Name Is..." premiers the work of young street writers - traditionally the lifeblood of this 20-year-old movement. This new generation has moved beyond older forms of graffiti, using commercially-produced stickers in a bolder and more sophisticated approach.
There are complex reasons for the sudden flurry in sticker art. Since the early 1980s, anti-graffiti policies have secured subway trains and yards. Instead of braving electrified barbed-wire fences, patrol dogs, and worse, many graffiti writers now take new and more artistically daring risks. Preparing pre-gummed stickers enables writers to avoid spending time in the train yards, and to use that time to perfect their art. The carefully-worked stickers, often produced in multiple, can be instantly affixed to a wide range of public spaces, with little or no risk.
Adam Buckman, Norman Magnusson and Harley Spiller are artists who spotted the merit of these stickers when they first appeared six years ago. Excited by this new movement, they have been collecting and studying stickers ever since, opening the public's eyes to this often-overlooked medium. They have encountered several graffiti sticker writers who, intrigued by the prospect of seeing scores of stickers on one big wall, encouraged the trio to continue collecting.
Franklin Furnace is a museum for published and multiple art; a library of reference materials on this field of contemporary art; and an archive of unique documents which are used to interpret works in the permanent collection. Founded by artists Martha Wilson in 1976, and still run by artists today, Franklin Furnace exhibits the historical avant-garde, and launches its future by presenting performances and installations by emerging artists.
Franklin Furnace gratefully acknowledges funds received for this installation from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and the New York State Council on the Arts.
"Franklin Furnace, the Last Word in Museums"
112 Franklin Street, New York, NY 10013 212-925-4671