Blending the Rules

Beyond the Streets, an edgy new contemporary art gallery in Fairfax, is pushing the boundaries of art and creating a permanent home for graffiti culture.
Photo Credits: Yubo Dong from OfStudio

After four years of pop-up shows around New York City and Los Angeles, Beyond the Streets took street art inside for good with the launch of its flagship gallery on La Brea Avenue last fall. Curated by graffiti historian and MOCA “Art in the Streets” co-curator Roger Gastman, the 6,000-square-foot gallery also mounts exhibitions with the adjacent Control Gallery, which Gastman co-founded with Sky Gellatly. Both spaces showcase the works of rule-breakers and rebels. While Beyond the Streets is the primary purveyor of graffiti art by artists like Banksy, Blade, Crash, and Futura, Control Gallery recently featured works by DabsMyla, an Australian husband-and-wife team famed for their colorful Pop Art paintings.

Each show offers something more revolutionary than the last, and the current in-depth exhibition dedicated to the Beastie Boys is no different. On view until January 23, “Exhibit” is a thematic journey into the personal lives and cultural legacy of the Beastie Boys, the New York City hip-hop-rock trio whose 1986 album Licensed to Ill was the first rap album to top the Billboard 200 chart. What began as a joke led to three middle-class Jewish teenagers—Mike Diamond, Adam Horovitz, and the late Adam Yauch—touring with the legendary Run-D.M.C. and making underground rap mainstream. Released in 1998, the group’s fifth studio album, Hello Nasty, won a Grammy, and in 2012, the trio was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They disbanded in 2012 with the death of Yauch.

“Exhibit,” a tribute to the band’s glory days and genre-splicing music, includes items never before seen by the public. Gastman had been intrigued by artifacts from the band’s active period pictured in their autobiographical book and wanted to tell a visual story about the musicians who made history. Rare notebooks with handwritten lyrics, guitars, shirts band members wore on tour, concert flyers, and the group’s iconic Adidas sneakers are just a few of the memorabilia on display. There will also be original drawings by Cey Adams for the group’s hip-hop album Cooky Puss and designs by Eric Haze and Bill McMullen. While the exhibition objects will not be for sale, visitors can purchase limited-edition Beastie Boys merchandise in Beyond the Streets’ gift shop. Free, timed-entry tickets can be reserved at AXS.

Beginning February 14, Beyond the Streets will host a solo exhibition of works by Argentinian artist Felipe Pantone, who creates virtual and physical installations, murals, and paintings that look like glitching prisms of light. His kinetic art critiques and explores the effect of technology on our lives.

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