Klaus Klinger, street artist and co-organiser of the '40-Degree Urban Art Festival', Prof. Dr. Christiane Lange, director of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Selim Varol, urban art collector, and C. F. Schröer, art journalist and moderator of the evening.
Today, street art and urban art enjoy enormous public interest worldwide. But what began with illegal graffiti in the major American cities on the East Coast 40 years ago has – it seems – now arrived in the middle of society. In 2016, the MUCA opened as the first German museum for urban art in Munich, a year later the ‘Museum for Urban Contemporary Art’ (MUCA) in Berlin, and galleries are also showing increasing interest in the partly forbidden, partly authorised ‘street art’. Works by renowned street artists today even fetch remarkable prices on the art market. In Düsseldorf, too, ‘urban art’ is one of the firm recommendations of Düsseldorf’s city tourism. From the legendary Basquiat exhibition at Hans Mayer’s in 1988 to the current ’40 Grad Urban Art Festival’ – Düsseldorf has achieved a remarkable position in the genre over the years.
Probably the best-known street artist today is Banksy. He has been working on the streets for around 25 years and has managed to keep his identity hidden to this day. He recently made headlines with the spectacular self-destruction of his ‘Balloon Girl’, which triggered controversial discussions on art, the art market and museums. In view of the initiative of the Museum Frieder Burda and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart to exhibit his much-discussed work ‘Love is in the bin’ for the first time in a museum setting, many questions arise, not least whether street art can exist at all in the long term in the context of a museum institution or whether its presentation does not already contain a fundamental contradiction in itself. What could be the right ways to further enhance Urban Art and what makes a city like Düsseldorf interesting for the international stars of the scene?
These and other questions were discussed this evening with the guests and the numerous visitors.