Welcome to The Gray Side project, a new approach to the interaction between the artist and the gallery space.
Initiated and hosted by Grayscale Store & Gallery in collaboration with Curbside Print House, two organisations with strong roots in the local Graffiti culture, the Project focusses on a small collective of South African graffiti artists with strong identities and unique styles.
These artists, ranging in age and experience, have each in their own way made a significant impact on the developing Graffiti movement in South Africa. As part of their evolution as artists they are building on their graffiti foundations and taking what they have learnt working in the streets to explore a less familiar environment, that of the world of exhibitions, galleries and working in the studio.
The traditional art gallery is, by contrast, a much more sterile and muted space than the city streets, the struggle for a graffiti artist is how to effectively convey the energy and dynamism of graffiti on walls in the streets on to the white interior walls of a gallery.
The main objective of the Gray Side Project is to facilitate these artists in freely exploring this relationship between the streets, the gallery and themselves by providing them with a blank space and carte blanche on experimenting and engaging with that space.
The artists participating in the project are each given a two month period for their individual show, one month to install the work and one month for it to be viewed in person by the public, after which the work will continue to be viewable online. The Gray Side artists are encouraged to approach the show less as a textbook exhibition in a gallery and more as an installation that represents the artist they are.
The general public usually only see the final collection of work as it is exhibited, at The Gray Side Project the emphasis is as much on the physical and mental process of the artist as it is on the completed works. Often seeing how an artist works reveals more about them than their actual artwork does, there is a mystery about the goings on in an artist’s head and this project aims to give the viewer a bit of insight to this intriguing question.
The Gray Side invites you, alongside the artists, on this exploration of creative freedom.