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BFA 4602 Joseph Nahmad Contemporary Opening for Deep Space featuring Matta, Phase 2, Futura and Rammellzee

On Friday, November 9, Joseph Nahmad Contemporary hosted the opening for Deep Space, a survey of street art featuring paintings by Matta, Rammellzee, Futura, and Phase 2.

Located at 450 West 14th Street, the opening featured a live band, an open bar, and a guest-list only crowd including: Futura and Phase 2, Yael Abbey, Matt Abramcyk, Michael Avedon, Serge Becker, Justine Bracero, Nicolo Cardi, Indira Cesarine, Lady Liliana Cavendish, Elizabeth Gilpin, Richard Hambleton, Lukas Haas, Mike Heller, Keenyah Hill, Katherine Keating, Rachel Lehmann, Patrick Lerouge, Stavros Merjos, Lee Quinones, Eli Reed, Kenny Scharf, Ethan Suplee, Andy Valmorbida and Popa Wu. Within the cavernous space, large-scale paintings hung on exposed brick, their brightly-colored spray paint and airbrushing illuminated by spotlights in an otherwise dark space.

BFA 4533 Joseph Nahmad Contemporary Opening for Deep Space featuring Matta, Phase 2, Futura and Rammellzee

Joseph Nahmad, Ted Serure

BFA 4567 Joseph Nahmad Contemporary Opening for Deep Space featuring Matta, Phase 2, Futura and Rammellzee

Leonard Futura

Viewed together, the paintings reveal visual and theoretical similarities between Matta, the renowned Chilean-born artist, and graffiti produced by Rammellzee, Futura, and Phase 2 in New York City subways in the 1980s. By presenting Matta’s canonical artwork with paintings by artists like Phase 2, who is credited with developing the style of bubble-letter graffiti characters known as “softies,” Deep Space is part of a broader artistic trend to redefine classifications of canonized and vernacular art.

BFA 4476 Joseph Nahmad Contemporary Opening for Deep Space featuring Matta, Phase 2, Futura and Rammellzee

Joseph Nahmad, whose eponymous enterprise presents artwork in various locations rather than occupying a permanent gallery space, curated Deep Space with artist Nemo Librizzi.

Deep Space is on view at 450 West 14th Street through December 12, 2012. See more photo from the exhibit below:

Photo Credit: Neil Rasmus, BFA

-Justine McCullough

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