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HISTORY OF EXTREME ART™

October 1, 2021
New at TWO TWO

Representing an entirely new, subversive, and dangerously defiant style of street-based art. The term Extreme Art refers to the radical graffiti art revolution proliferating in city streets all across the globe, from the subways of New York City to the walls of London and Paris, turning entire cities into living, breathing museums of art that encompass the punk rock recklessness of a bold new generation of creative dissidents and disruptors.

Keeping alive the rebel spirit of history-defining renegade artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Extreme Art™ is rapidly transforming the present and future state of the art world and expanding the possibilities of what art could be. Coupled with the groundbreaking new NFT crypto marketplace and the visionary digital platform of art contained therein, the term Extreme Art will soon become the creative “shot heard ‘round the world,” kickstarting the new artistic revolution that will change the face of art for decades to come.

The earliest example of Extreme Art can be found in the controversial Pop Art movement of the late 1960s and into the 70s and 80s, and no one is more emblematic of its style than the godfather of it all, Andy Warhol. Originally hailing from the unsuspecting city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Andy soon became the consummate symbol of Pop Art, exploring the unique cross-section of the commercial, celebrity, and art culture that flourished in the 1960s and paving the way for a whole new generation of creative rebels who redefined the meaning of art forever. His eclectic use of the medium, from painting and silkscreening, to photography, film, and sculpture, pushed the boundaries of “acceptable” art. He was a pioneer of the silkscreen printing technique process as a technique used for the overlapping art of his paintings.

Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol

Originally a freelance graphic artist for various advertising agencies, his work commented on the sterility and commercialization of culture while scathingly critiquing the hollow hypocrisy that lied therein. From Campbellʼs soup cans to Marilyn Monroe to James Dean to the Last Supper, Andyʼs paradoxical love and condemnation of the vapidity of celebrity and fame added layers of meaning to his work, blazing the trail for the likes of other creative renegades like painters Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Robert Rauschenberg, and Keith Haring, as well as provocative photographers like Robert Maplethorpe and Diane Arbus. His renowned “office” playground, known as The Factory, brought together intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian drifters, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons that all contributed to the subversiveness of a new culture whose lasting impression was absolutely indelible of the rebel spirit of modern Extreme Artists from Banksy to Brainwash to Nick Walker and Denis Ouch.

Stay Safe by Denis Ouch

Of course, the nature of Extreme Art cannot be discussed without another one of its trailblazing visionaries, Jean-Michel Basquiat. The original street artist through and through, Basquiat first achieved fame as a graffiti artist decorating the broken down walls of New York City with enigmatic epigrams that commented on the dichotomies of extreme wealth and poverty, integration, and segregation, and political powers and class struggle. His work drew inspiration from the burgeoning hip-hop, punk rock, and other street scenes of the 70s and 80s, coalescing all these disparate styles into startling works of true originality. Mingling text, poetry, abstraction, and historical facts into his paintings, SAMO was the first to legitimize the nature of street art, giving way to the iconic works of Keith Haring found in subway advertisement subversions and also extended even to musical influence upon the likes of controversial hip-hop artists like Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys.

Warrior by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Flash forward to the likes of rebel pioneers like Banksy, BLU, and Vihls, street art also known as guerilla art, has become a cultural phenomenon that has completely infiltrated and subverted the modern art world. Borne of a punk rock spirit of defiance and dissidence, street art is truly art without boundaries, eschewing any permission from the owners of the walls and edifices that have become contemporary canvases for like-minded visionaries. From graffiti to large-scale murals that adorn both private and public spaces, due to the questionable legalities surrounding their work many street artists have decided to remain anonymous, which only adds to the punk spirit of the artistic rebellion that now paints the streets of the world from New York to Paris to Russia to Singapore. Combing social commentary with ironic humor and dangerous new forms of media, the art of the streets has become alive with an entirely new and shocking vitality, that, to the chagrin of the orthodox corporate art world, refuses to bow down or go away. Extreme Art will not be subdued, suppressed, or quelled by any outside forms trying to do just that, and the vandals that have become visionaries are the future Michalangelos, Da Vincis, and Rembrandts of the street.

Extreme Art. Art without boundaries.

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