“In classic NYC subway graffiti lore, a 'King' is one who has achieved the most recognition for not only excellence in style but for the mark they have made on the culture." So said Subliminal Projects, Shepard Fairey's Street Art gallery in Los Angeles, as it presented "3 Kings," Sept. 17-Oct. 8, 2011, a show of new by Fred Brathwaite (aka Fab 5 Freddy), Lee Quinones and Leonard McGurr (aka Futura 2000).
All three artists, who have unarguably retained their royalty status, were also included in “Art in the Streets,” Apr. 17-Aug. 8, 2011, the controversial blockbuster exhibition that took graffiti art back into the headlines. Underground movie sensation Patti Astor, founder of the FUN Gallery, the first space in New York’s East Village to feature graffiti art, curated the exhibition.
At the opening, Shepard Fairey served as guest dj and spun the night away as the Three Kings looked towards the future and regaled in their culturally significant pasts.
JOE LEWIS is an artist and dean at Clair Trevor School of the Arts, University of California Irvine.