Signs are all around us, though we often fail to even register their influence on the environment. A new show at Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York aims to explore the intersection of traditional signage with graffiti and street art. The show, up until August 25, is called Détournement, and features work from art stars like Shepard Fairey, Billboard Liberation Front and Ron English.
Curator Carlo McCormack explains the reasoning behind the name: “A détournement is a detour of sorts, but not so much along the scenic route as over the tougher road that goes more directly to the truth. A more proximate translation from the French might be a derailment, but I’m not sure English is so well suited to get both the violence and hilarity of the term. Since coined by the Lettrist International in the 1950s, it has served various generations as a common strategy by which to subvert consensus visual language so as to turn the expressions of capitalist culture against themselves.”
We’ve selected a few of our favorite pieces from the show — but we really recommend you check them out in person. [Jonathan Levine Gallery]
Zevs, Liquidated Coca-Cola
Leo Fitzpatrick, Bagel, Coffee, Cigarettes (and plaque)
Julie Gerstein writes about art and fashion for New Now Next. She can be found on Twitter at @havethehabit.