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  • Writer's pictureVan Weyenbergh Fine Art

Chicago wants to inventory his "street art" ,to avoid destroying important art

Updated: Jul 21, 2019

In search of a new location for its headquarters, Amazon had scheduled a visit to Chicago in April 2018. Wishing to seduce the multinational, the city had embarked on a major cleaning spring, systematically cleaning all "tags". This is how a work by Blek Le Rat, owned by a company, was erased. To avoid this kind of mistake the city organizes the census of the frescoes of the city and their registration in a database.

Brian Hopkins of the street and sanitation department of Chicago had declared on this occasion that "in the future, it would be necessary to stick a label on each fresco that they think is of the art" . This is exactly what his colleagues in the Department of Cultural Affairs are putting in place today, by adding an official emblem of the city on each of the murals.

This database, which will collect the street art works of the city, encourages artists to submit their works, which will then be evaluated by a jury of three people. The frescoes must be sponsored or authorized by the owner of the wall. Mark Kelly of the Department of Cultural Affairs, however, emphasizes that his colleagues will not have the role of art critic.

Their prerogatives will stop at selecting works in good condition, which are neither signs nor marketing tools, and which do not include any message shocking or disturbing public order (such as gang symbols).

Beyond the prevention of destruction, the interest of this database is also to reconnect the people of Chicago with this contemporary heritage.

"It has to help everyone understand what's on our walls," Mark Kelly said.  Article in the Arts Journal- Hammache

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