Speedy Graphito print signing event at Moura Starr, 5/17/2012
Text and photos by Lee Joseph
For a moment or so I found the concept of covering a print signing event by a French street artist who manipulates imagery of corporate American iconography which is embedded in the world’s consciousness, at a Beverly Hills furniture store, a bit odd. However, once all the parameters of the situation were taken into consideration – Speedy Graphito’s reputation, influence and execution (of his art), the connection between his US representation and said furniture store, and the aesthetics of mixing elegant and streamlined contemporary European mid-century inspired furniture allowing or even yearning for art that pops off the walls, it kind of started making sense.
Artist Oliver Rizzo, aka Speedy Graphito – well known French street artist, hanging out in town for the “French Invasion” art exhibition at Fabien Castanier Gallery featuring Graphito, JonOne and Tilt at Fabien Castanier Gallery, did a print signing event at the Moura Starr showroom, in what is called the Avenues of Art, Fashion & Design in Beverly Hills.
Graphito, a pioneer of the French Street Art Movement going back to the1980s and known for his vibrant geometrical pop art renderings of commercialism through references to corporate and pop culture icons, is represented by gallerist Fabien Castanier who is friends with Moura Starrr CEO Don Brooks. Thus a print signing event at a Beverly Hills furniture store was born.
Moura Starr represents the Baltus line, according to their press release, a “definitive leader in the modern luxury furniture market” founded by designer Javier Martin Muriel and featuring furniture conceptualized by prominent contemporaries David Phoenix, Campion Platt, Jue & Booth, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard and Jennifer Post. The store offers hundreds of tailored collections of case goods, upholstery, accessories, rugs and lighting. And, it is all extremely tasteful and low key. When I quizzed their publicist as to why a French street artist was doing a show in a Beverly Hills furniture store, before she even told me of the connection between Castanier and Brooks, explained that “the low key furniture allows for POP art, or art that POPS!”
Point well taken. When I was finished snapping pictures, I went home to my cacophony of found furniture and fell asleep as the champagne was starting to wear off. Bon soir.