Welcome to San Diego Blog | May 27, 2010

Art and the Urban Community

Obey Parody

Shepard Fairey's Sloth Obey Parody

July 18, 2010 through January 2, 2011 the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will showcase Viva la Revolucion:  A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape.  This exhibition will explore how urban living fosters physical and ideological growth within society, resulting in a plethora of innovative artistic expression.  Many aspects of urban living which enhance our lives are taken for granted as everyday city-dwellers go about their daily routine.

Viva la Revolucion shows how urban art enhances what we designate as our home, affirming how quickly our landscape could become a drab concrete desert without it.  Everything from street signs, graffiti, business advertisements and architecture, not only contribute to the colorful setting that is Downtown San Diego, but feed the continuing genesis of new ideas and design.  As the style and desire of its residents alters, the inextricable wardrobe of our urban development folds into a new genre.

San Diego Urban Architecture

This is particularly true regarding architecture.  Any individual out for a daytime stroll cannot help but notice the recent additions to the San Diego skyline.  Many of these highly attractive, modern condo buildings, such as The Grande on the 101 overlooking the San Diego Bay, and Vantage Pointe, a prominent new structure in the Core District of Downtown, are constructed of concrete, steel and glass.

Beautiful coastal living, coupled with a modern desire for social omnipotence, have led to new condos in San Diego containing floor to ceiling glass windows, sweeping balconies that allow residents to keep tabs on half the city, all of which is accompanied by residential lobbies swiped directly from a Manhattan lounge.

Compared with hotels and apartments of the distant, and rather near past, artistic evolutions in San Diego urban architecture are quite evident.  Buildings such as The US Grant in the Gaslamp Quarter, reflect the romantic  designs of the old west, while stucko walls of apartment buildings reflect the more recent, unforgettable (for better or worse), 80’s and 90’s.  Such permutations in urban landscapes, though specifically unpredictable, are a generational standard and certainly not limited to architecture.

Viva la Revolucion: A Conglomerate of Talent

The MCASD’s upcoming exhibition consists of twenty artists from eight different countries, all exploring art and the urban community.  This exhibition will stray slightly from the traditional by showcasing works not only in MCASD’s galleries, located in the Jacbos building near the Santa Fe train depot, but also in public areas of Downtown San Diego.

The twenty artists selected to help celebrate urban art and the amazing leaps and bounds showcased throughout the last thirty years, have filled our cities with beauty while commenting on an array of society’s less than savory truths.

Shepard Fairey, a resident of Los Angeles, created the Giant OBEY face, more than recognizable to most (a photo of which opens this article), and has papered Southern California since the 1990’s, reminding our community of the evil beneath its commonplace routines.   In the last two decades such posters have become part of San Diego’s culture and identity.



British street artist Banksy, whose identity is to this day unknown, turns crumbling urban walls into satirically stunning landscapes, expressive of twentieth century culture, politics, morals and ethics.

Ryan McGinness

Ryan McGinness

Ryan McGinness utilizes graphic design and consumer culture in his relentlessly patterned paintings, creating colorful radiant work that celebrates technology’s achievements and our contemporary life.

The remaining seventeen artists have been no less influential, but there is no sense in attempting to narrate an entire exhibition, especially one of such sociological magnitude.

Besides, what better way to explore the alterations of our city and culture as a whole, than delve into artwork that at times has played both the chicken and the egg?! This exhibition exploring art and the urban community will encourage individuals to peruse their everyday sights and develop a greater connection with their metropolis, rather than simply hazarding a glance as they power-walk their way from errand to errand.  Every San Diego resident should find a few moments to visit this exhibition and explore the constant connection of city life and art.

For more information on this exhibition please visit.


Written by: chad

Categories: Downtown San Diego, San Diego Events

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