AUSTIN, Texas — On Saturday, May 15, West Chelsea Contemporary invites the public to experience the newest exhibit “Icons & Vandals” at the downtown art powerhouse running through July 11. Recognizable by name and respected for their invaluable contribution, the artists featured in this new show have subverted the contemporary art world throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Categorized by their emergence, artists like Banksy, Basquiat, Takashi Murakami, Ai Weiwei, RETNA, Andy Warhol and more, have distinguished themselves through disruption. Icons & Vandals seeks to celebrate and highlight monumental works by notable innovators in the contemporary art world.
With artwork spanning 60 years, Icons & Vandals features art-world agitators from across the globe. Modern Masters—such as Alex Katz and Frank Stella—challenged the status quo through aesthetic and technical innovation. While Pop Art icons—like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol—mined ‘low-brow’ culture and transformed it into fine art. Contemporary Neo-Pop legends—such as Takashi Murakami and Yoshitimo Nara—re-explore the conceptual underpinnings of Pop through the lens of global contemporary culture while pushing the visual language of the movement even further. Contemporary Chinese Artists—like Ai WeiWei and Zhang Xiaogang—critique their country’s collectivist society on a global scale. Street art pioneers—from Jean-Michel Basquiat to Banksy—disrupt physical urban space while challenging the boundaries of what can be considered art. In this same vein, artist-licensed Skate Decks and Vinyl Art bring both toy culture and the subculture of skating into the upper echelon of the art world and redefine what it means to be a collector.
“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable” – Banksy