This Thursday, Moniker Art Fair, the world’s biggest urban art fair, opens its doors on a newly expanded space in London’s Old Truman Brewery. For 2017, Moniker will offer a unique programme giving visitors a chance to map the evolution of street art in the heart of London’s East End, since its beginnings in post-depression 1930s America.
Moniker 2017’s theme ‘Transient Tales’ showcases not only the origins of street art but additionally highlights the importance and impact of migration and travel on the arts. Among the 100 artists exhibiting at the fair will be those paying homage to the hobo culture that emerged nearly 90 years ago, where grifters taking trains across the country would leave symbols – called tags or monikers – on the walls of freight cars and settlements to denote ‘police presence’, ‘safety’ or ‘food’.
A collection of the tags has already appeared as part of the Barbican’s Jean-Michel Basquiat retrospective which has just opened this month. At Moniker Art Fair, a number of documentarians will be exhibiting works and screening films which explore the wider concept and its eventual transformation into urban art as we know it today, alongside those who represent the future of the genre.
With Moniker’s long-standing history of bringing the globe’s most influential new-contemporary and urban art galleries together, they will continue to accommodate the rise in interest of urban art and its related subcultures by doubling the number of exhibitors, with major galleries attending from as farflung areas as California, Hong Kong, Canada, South Africa and Japan. Moniker has observed and encouraged urban art’s surge in popularity which has become a steadily growing source of value for top collectors for what is the art world’s fastest-growing contemporary sector.
Moniker Art Fair’s incredible programme for 2017 includes:
- A collaboration with award-winning artist Bill Daniel who transports visitors back to the beginnings of ‘Moniker Culture’, stepping inside the world of Who is Bozo Texino? – a legendary urban art film screening during the fair. Daniel’s installation showcases his rarely-seen rail archives and historical material as visitors must physically step onto the train tracks and into the fair.
- Vermibus, an advert-battling street artist transforming corporate marketing into true art, will for the first time show his face at Moniker – a true illegal artist and activist of the street.
- The first UK solo exhibitions from internationally renowned artists Audrey Kawasaki and Brian Viveros, both looming large on the radars of collectors in recent years as well as important international galleries including Thinkspace Gallery (Los Angeles), Station 16 (Montreal) and u-k
ART (Tokyo) who make their Moniker debut.
- Daily print releases from over 20 exhibitors, available only during the fair.
- Public murals for the local community created across the week leading up to the event and over the weekend itself, by acclaimed urban artists Dulk (Spain), Telmo Miel (Netherlands) whatisadam (Canada) and Ben Slow (London).
- A new initiative which sees Young Galleries invited to exhibit this year, including UK-Art from Japan, Jewel Goodby Contemporary and 1963 Gallery from the UK.
- Celebrating the vibrant community in and around the heart of London’s East End, Moniker will be giving away 500 limited-edition, hand-customised and signed prints by London artist Mr Frivolous, gifted to members of the public from postcodes local to The Old Truman Brewery.
- Tristan Manco, author and designer of some of the most influential street art books over the past decade, including Make Your Mark and Street Sketchbook. Manco will be signing books throughout the fair.
- In partnership with Moniker’s VIP Collectors programme, The Whisky Lounge will be offering whisky mixing and tasting events for the duration of the fair. Their aim is to entertain whisky drinkers and first-timers alike, while breaking down barriers, myths and legends to promote an understanding that whisky is a historical and iconic product of almost alchemic origins.~
Moniker Art Fair
Dates Thursday 5th – Sunday 8th October 2017 | Thursday, Press Preview 12pm-4pm; Private Opening Reception 4pm-9:30pm | Friday, 12pm-5pm; Public Opening Reception 5pm-9pm | Saturday, 11am – 7pm | Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Tickets Tickets are available from https://www.monikerartfair.com/tickets
Location The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL