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The difference between the street and the studio is merely possession: outside, artists can claim ownership of, or at least the right to use, public space, while inside, collectors really have the power. Irvine Contemporary’s “Street/Studio,” however, asserts that the gallery is a natural extension of street artists’ public works. The eight artists’ studio works inside are arguably more ephemeral: they can be seen in the gallery for a month or so, while their street art could stay up until someone decides to paint over it. The alley behind Irvine, which was once partially covered by some Shepard Fairey posters, is now filled in with works from the show’s artists. Though they were all installed within the same period, they’re in no way a collaboration—you can almost see the invisible dotted lines between each artist’s territory. Artist EVOL (whose “Untitled (Electrical Box)” is pictured) captivates both inside and out, stenciling images of postwar German architecture on concrete and cardboard packaging to create highly detailed images of high-rise apartments. The cardboard’s original lettering gives the impression of massive street art scrawled across the buildings. Gaia, too, brings the street to the studio, by painting his woodcut-inspired forms on found posters and plywood.
The exhibition is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday–Saturday, to August 1 at Irvine Contemporary, 11412 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 332-8767