Living in New York City, there are many opportunities to go see Graffiti/Street Art openings. Every week there seem to be 100 different galleries having openings in NYC, and sometimes it is difficult to pick which one to go to and Instagram your heart out. This weekend the choice was obvious, as Pandemic Gallery had their second show since moving from Williamsburg to a warehouse by the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The newest show at Pandemic features the work of Cassius Fouler, better known as “Cash 4,” a graffiti artist who made the news last week for his latest run-in with the NYPD. If you have been anywhere in Lower Manhattan, or certain areas of Brooklyn, we are sure you have seen the “Cash 4” tag on rooftops, walls, or other surfaces. Cash’s visual style ranges from graffiti tags on windows and walls, to pieces of art that show elements of iconography and cartoon design.
Cash 4 painting (Instagram pic via Pandemic Gallery)
Cash 4 has been a mainstay in the NYC graffiti scene for years now. Cash’s art has not been exclusively shown in the streets and rooftops of NYC, but in galleries around the city. He jumps between the legal and illegal worlds of being an artist, which is difficult, as many artists and graffiti fans accuse street artists of selling out the moment their work hangs on a wall and is up for sale.
Much debate has come in the form of Graffiti vs. Street Art, or Graffiti vs. Studio Art, but Cash blurs the lines that people want to draw and does his art his way. Cash is obviously influenced by the work of graffiti artists of the past, however, he manages to incorporate it into his studio work, without it coming off as fraudulent.
In the few interviews he has given over the years, Cash has been a man of few words, letting his art give his opinions on gentrification, life as an artist in the competitive scene here in NYC, anger, sadness and perhaps even happiness. Even with the police giving out his name to news outlets after his latest arrest, Cash is still distant, choosing to still hold on to the little bit of anonymity he has left; He still hides his face, still living under the rules of NYC graffiti writers as if he was never found out.
To be a part of the craziness and overall unique experience, come check out Painting is the Curse of the Drinking Class. The gallery is open by appointment only, unless noted otherwise.
Image via Pandemic Gallery
Get in touch with the author @tatteredfedora.