Jessica Stewart has long been on the bandstand sharing her love for street art, whether behind the camera lens or in classrooms talking about the landscape of street art in Rome. What started out as simply spectator appreciation and street side photography has evolved into a career working with artists such as Alice Pasquini to create engaging exhibitions and continuously promote street art, as well as ongoing documentation of Italy’s (and everywhere else she goes) urban art work.
Over the past years, I’ve loved spying on Jessica’s… well, spying, as she captures artwork and artists in flagrante delicto. Her behind the scenes perspective makes it easy to understand that Jessica doesn’t just love documenting the art and culture of street art, it is a calling. And this month, the calling has brought her together with artist Rub Kandy for 50/50, a group show of approximately 30 international artists, cascading through panorama of street art styles.
Why 50/50? Rub Kandy isn’t just that artist who adds a little color to the local landscape, he’s the artist who colored controversy in 2011 when he installed an iron sign in Rome’s Pigneto quarter with the writing “work will make you free”. Polemic erupted, and though Rub explained his motives as reflection on the state of employment, in particular in regard to the Italian crisis, he will shortly be going to Italian court for, what seems would be, to defend himself as an artist. This week, Rub and Jessica are curators of a pretty amazing group of artists– friends, colleagues, peers– who have banded together across the street art community, with 50% of the sales proceeds going to Rub’s legal fees.
Think of this way, on May 9 (and through May 15), you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in art, mix and mingle with spray can, paint and paper magicians, and even buy some pieces for your walls.
Opening May 9, 6.30pm
VISIVA – La Città dell’Immagine
via Assisi 117, Roma
From May 9 to 15,
Monday-Friday, 11 am to 7pm