ALTOIDS® UNVEILS CURIOUSLY STRONG "WALL OF FAME" IN NEW YORK CITY AND MIAMI TO RECOGNIZE URBAN ARTISTS AND CELEBRATE STREET ART CULTURE
East Hanover, NJ, June 19, 2003 - Continuing its commitment to generating exposure for today's most talented emerging artists, Altoids®, the Curiously Strong Mints®, is unveiling a Curiously Strong "Wall of Fame" in both New York City and Miami to support urban artists and help legitimize, recognize and celebrate the positive influence of street art in America's urban landscapes. This summer, Altoids will be giving 30 talented graffiti artists prominent public canvases to display their works by funding a "Wall of Fame" in each city that will showcase some of the most "famous" and emerging talent in the urban art scene. Often perceived as intrusive or harmful, graffiti can also be one of the most dynamic forms of creative expression in America today, enhancing city streets with vibrant colors and the unique perspectives of urban youth. Altoids hopes to attract positive attention and recognition to deserving artists and to increase the legitimacy as works of art by garnering meaningful exposure for some of the most provocative art being made today.
As with its Curiously Strong Collection, Altoids enlisted an established panel of graffiti artists, curators and historians to help identify curiously strong and original artists to create the "Wall of Fame" in each city. Altoids worked with prominent graffiti luminaries Lady Pink, Smith, Cycle and the authors/photographers of Broken Windows Karla and Jim Murray in New York to select 15 artists; Dalek, Dona, Doze, Erni, West, Muck, Yes, Ces, Rebel, Daze, Ezo, Skwerm, Kenji, Leia and Bisc. In Miami, local graffiti historians and artists Ease, Rey Parla, Esto and Seam nominated 15 Miami artists; Edec, Sar, Kvee, Mek, Freek, Elex, Shie, Sae, Rage, Dash, Marle, View2, Jes, Gwiz and Smash.
The New York artists will team up to paint in pairs that will align different styles in a way never before done in New York and with many artists that have never collaborated together before this project. They will work together to design and install a mural that will be displayed on a gigantic wall in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York at Bedford and North 4th Street. The New York Curiously Strong "Wall of Fame" will be unveiled to the public at a reception on June 3 at Pierogi Gallery in Williamsburg.
In Miami, the artists will work with the theme "A Writer's Album" to showcase and celebrate the history and talent of local artists. The mural will be installed in the Wynwood district in Miami, Florida on a wall spanning over 500 feet at NW 24th Street and NW 6th Avenue and will be unveiled to the public on June 19 at Objex Artspace in Miami.
The first legal and organized wall for graffiti writers to showcase their skills was the Hall of Fame in Harlem in the early 1980's. By the 1990's, artistically inclined writers began to seek out legal walls to paint murals. As cities across the world became more familiar with these new graffiti murals, more funding and spaces became available. We thank Altoids for their support and hope to show that graffiti based art can be a positive part of the community's environment," said Lady Pink.
"Graffiti is, by its very nature, a curious, strong and original medium," said Bruce Weiss, Senior Brand Manager for Altoids. "For the past six years we have actively supported talented and under-recognized emerging artists and we believe graffiti art can be a highly under-appreciated, over-looked, and demonized form of urban art that should be celebrated."
Last year, Altoids began its support of graffiti artists by selecting and funding three talented artists, Grey, Geso and Dug-1 to exhibit their raw pieces of artwork on three billboards in San Francisco's Mission District.
Altoids has been a long-standing supporter of emerging artists, most notably through its Altoids Curiously Strong Collection of contemporary art. Now in its fifth year, the Curiously Strong Collection includes over 110 works. Like the Altoids Curiously Strong Collection, the Curiously Strong "Wall of Fame" aims to recognize and support talented emerging artists that are rooted in graffiti culture through direct financial support and increased exposure.
For More Information, Contact:
Dena Vassallo, Hunter Public Relations
Gigi Russo, Hunter Public Relations