It can be tough to recall what street art was like back in the early days, what with its current ubiquity, and the fact that you're probably from the suburbs, where they don't have "streets". Thankfully, Jeff Mitchell's resurrecting the "spirit and execution of early street artists" with his Boxing Bear series: prints of mixed media works that celebrate decades of "urban wall painters", a term that's definitely in the running for "Best Euphemism for Vandal". The portraiture includes:
Pop Culture: There's a Lebowski homage entitled "The Dude's Enlightenment", a Fear and Loathing-era Hunter S. Thompson portrait, a fist-raising Andre the Giant, and, all geared up for a boxing match, Ernest "The Bell Tolls For You" Hemingway.
Music: You'll find close-ups on Sun Records' singles for Johnny Cash ("I Walk The Line") and Elvis ("That's All Right"), plus an action shot of The Flaming Lips' frontman going to town on an acoustic guitar in "Only Happy When It Waynes", but don't worry, it's not total Garbage.
Animals: If musicians aren't animals enough, you can still pick up a heftily antlered moose howling at the moon, an angry bear wearing boxing gloves, and a sartorial-minded panda wearing an olde British suit and holding a cane, an outfit that in no way captures the spirit of the streets, and will get you executed.
Published: February 13, 2012 at 4:00am EST
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