Charlie Ahearn talks about his new work and memories of the beginnings of hip-hop ahead of his exhibition at P.P.O.W. Gallery and movie screening at Metrograph.
1978. Weary of the SoHo art scene, artist Stefan Eins decided to open a new art space in the South Bronx. The space was named Fashion Moda (1978-1993) an abbreviation of the full name painted above its entrance: Fashion 时装 Moda МОДА.
Christy Rupp burst onto the New York art scene with “Rat Patrol,” a street art response to the sanitation strike of 1979.
Between May 1979 and January 1987, the East Village Eye breathlessly covered the East Village art scene. Indiscriminate in its interests, the magazine charted the rise of hip hop, graffiti, and punk, and is widely credited with contributing to the intermingling of several New York scenes.
Charlie Ahearn is known as an independent filmmaker, but he’s much more than that. He’s perhaps better described as a community filmmaker. For his films The Deadly Art of Survival (1979) and Wild Style (1983), he connected with local communities of young New Yorkers (many of them teenagers) and worked with them to make movies that starred these amateur actors essentially playing themselves.
Almost completely left out of the Jeffrey Deitch-organized Art in The Streets at LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art and minimally referenced in its exhibition catalogue and other recently published surveys of graffiti and street art, the historical importance of Fashion 时装 Moda МОДА has been lost to a generation of artists and graffiti-lovers. It’s time for that to change.