Urban Masters, Opera Gallery

-This exhibition is now closed-

The Urban Masters exhibition at Factory 7, Shoreditch, curated by Opera Gallery London, showcases the best in international urban art, defined by organisers as ‘all human expressions on or using street furniture and urban equipment’.

The show is diverse and interesting, but there is a considerable gap between the successful pieces and those which do not quite work in this context. Important works such as Banksy’s Kill Mom? and Blek le Rat’s Mona seem small and underwhelming in the setting of a gallery exhibition. The sense of surprise and subversion that makes these artists so successful in public spaces is, perhaps unavoidably, lost in translation.

The best pieces in the show make such interesting use of materials that they transcend the gallery setting. I found the wit, violence and physicality of Zeus’s Love, Crash and Burn and Joe Black’s Workers of the World, Unite! particularly strong.

The show runs until 18 November and I would recommend a visit. The exhibition is free and proceeds from the sale of exhibition catalogues go to Anti-Slavery International.

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