Graffiti: Kalasatama/Fiskehamnen, 2014 • Arabia, 2016 • Kalasatama/Fiskehamnen, 2015

Graffiti

The artworks and artists in this exhibition share a common rebellious stance expressed through the gesture of occupying urban space and questioning the notion of anyone “owning” public property.

The first hall provides an introduction to graffiti as a subculture, lifestyle and art form. The roots of graffiti culture are documented by Martha Cooper in her iconic photographs of New York’s painted trains and graffiti artists. An onsite piece painted by living legend Blade brings history to life in HAM’s gallery space. The unfolding story of Helsinki’s colourful graffiti history is presented in a timeline from the 1980s to the present day.

The second hall presents artworks that occupy urban space in the name of art. The featured artists include the Guerrilla Girls, a US group who have spent decades using posters and video installations to expose gender and ethnic bias in the art community and society. Visitors have the opportunity to commandeer their own slice of the city with Otto Karvonen’s Urban Space Occupation Kit. The exhibition also highlights HAM’s own collections with a selection of works by artists who drew early inspiration from the graffiti scene.

The exhibition was curated by Heli Harni, Satu Oksanen and Sanna Tuulikangas, HAM. The exhibition design is by architect Tuomas Siitonen.

Pulutunneli, 1992 © HAM / Donation from EGS

Get started Exhibition at hamhelsinki.fi
Graffiti: Kalasatama/Fiskehamnen, 2014 • Arabia, 2016 • Kalasatama/Fiskehamnen, 2015

Graffiti

The artworks and artists in this exhibition share a common rebellious stance expressed through the gesture of occupying urban space and questioning the notion of anyone “owning” public property.

The first hall provides an introduction to graffiti as a subculture, lifestyle and art form. The roots of graffiti culture are documented by Martha Cooper in her iconic photographs of New York’s painted trains and graffiti artists. An onsite piece painted by living legend Blade brings history to life in HAM’s gallery space. The unfolding story of Helsinki’s colourful graffiti history is presented in a timeline from the 1980s to the present day.

The second hall presents artworks that occupy urban space in the name of art. The featured artists include the Guerrilla Girls, a US group who have spent decades using posters and video installations to expose gender and ethnic bias in the art community and society. Visitors have the opportunity to commandeer their own slice of the city with Otto Karvonen’s Urban Space Occupation Kit. The exhibition also highlights HAM’s own collections with a selection of works by artists who drew early inspiration from the graffiti scene.

The exhibition was curated by Heli Harni, Satu Oksanen and Sanna Tuulikangas, HAM. The exhibition design is by architect Tuomas Siitonen.

Pulutunneli, 1992 © HAM / Donation from EGS

Get started Exhibition at hamhelsinki.fi
3

Martha Cooper

Martha Cooper is among the first photographers to document graffiti culture and street art.

4 Risk, 2000 © Kuva: Tipa Tuominen

RISK av Finland

Risk was one of Finland's most internationally active graffiti writers.

5 EGS © HAM / Maija Toivanen

EGS

Egs has painted graffiti in over 50 countries around the world, often collaborating together with well-known graffiti artists.

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EGS/TRAMA

From Sunset Park to Hietalahti Bay – Graffiti is Art and Here to Stay is an homage to the spread of graffiti culture all the way from New York to locations as far-flung as Helsinki.

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Blade

Blade is one of the original members of The Crazy 5 crew.

8 NUG: Still from video Territorial Pissing , 2008 © Courtesy The artist/GSB Gallery Steinsland Berliner

NUG

Nug belonged to a well-known crew calling themselves VIM (Vandals In Motion).

10 EGS © HAM / Maija Toivanen

EGS: 6074

This aluminium sculpture draws inspiration from a piece painted on a commuter train by Egs in summer 1994.

11 Wermke/Leinkauf: Landmarks (soy storage silo), Heilbronn, Germany, 2013

Wermke/Leinkauf

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Berlin artists Matthias Wermke and Mischa Leinkauf engaged in a systematic search for “open” public spaces.

12 Timo Vaittinen: Peli, 2013 © HAM / Kuva: Hanna Kukorelli

Timo Vaittinen

Timo Vaittinen’s works are often compared to Op Art and the psychedelic imagery of the 1960s

13 Otto Karvonen: Kaupunkitilan valtaamispakkaus, 2006 (performanssi ja installaatio) © Otto Karvonen

Otto Karvonen

You can borrow Otto Karvonen’s Urban Space Occupation Kit from the exhibition.

14 Guerrilla Girls, 2015 © Kuva: Andrew Hinderaker

Guerrilla Girls

Guerrilla Girls is a group of feminist activist artists founded in New York in 1985.