Between the 7th-10th March, Distassi Art put on a transatlantic collaboration with Contra Galleries in Chelsea, New York City. Presented by Whitehot Magazine, the event saw Distassi bring pieces by Schoony and Hambleton over to the US; which were exhibited alongside works by Al Diaz, Delta 2 and Keith Haring. It was an impressive showing, with legendary street art in every corner of the gallery.
Some of the works were being shown for the first time including the exclusive pieces by renowned British artist Schoony. Most well known for ‘Boy Soldier’, a hyper-realistic depiction of a young boy holding a hand grenade. Often injected with socially conscious themes, his art is both visually stunning and thought provoking. The other main attraction was the collection of original Hambleton paintings that occupied a large space in the gallery, a combination of shadow-heads, standing shadows and a beautiful landscape. They drew a crowd who were eager to see so many of the New York street icon’s most important works; all in one place. It included key NYC street art bloggers, musicians, contemporary artists and respected art journalists.
There was a clear nod to the 80’s over the three days, with most of the art emerging from that era. Hambleton’s pieces were accompanied by a stunning Keith Haring painting, some large scale Delta 2 works, and three Al Diaz pieces. One of the most exciting moments of the show came when Diaz added his famous SAMO tag to one of Schoony’s fibre-glass ‘Boy Soldiers’. The live collaboration gave spectators the opportunity to witness one of New York’s greatest talents in full flow, creating a unique artwork.
Given the emergence of New York and London as two of the most important contemporary art markets in the world; it made sense for Distassi Art and Contra Galleries to embark on a joint exhibition. The show ended with a panel talk between Contra’s Matt McGlynn and Distassi’s Ed Sanders, Mike Howes and Boe Distassi. It was moderated by Noah Becker of WhiteHot Magazine; the transatlantic team talked about street art, emerging talents, Schoony, Richard Hambleton and Armory Week. It was a fitting close to the week, solidifying a budding partnership between the two companies.
The Distassi Art team