2019 AUTUMN IN NEW YORK EXHIBITION
Artist Official Entries
Lee Holinnew york NY USA
As a lifelong New Yorker and street artist for over a decade, I have been able to witness first-hand the rapidly shifting landscape and expedited gentrification occurring in every usable corner of post-9/11 Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs. From SoHo to Brownsville, spaces once adorned with graffiti and urban art representing the voice of a neighborhood began to vanish, and along with them the inhabitants who could no longer afford to live there. Through these city streets that have been the inspiration and frame for my art, I have seen New York lose much of its heart to make way for endless new developments, willing to bulldoze and build over its history in favor of modernization and mainstreaming. Whether it was the lack of usable public art real estate or the need to grow as an artist, I began to lose the desire to put art on the street, but rather take from the street to make art. While I have experimented with repurposing abandoned newsboxes, sign postings, and curbside video installations, the cornerstone of much of my work is simple wheat paste and paper—torn up building development markers, “Cash For Your House” signs, film shoot announcements, high fashion advertisements, etc., the tangible proof of the "new" New York. A Chanel ad plastered over a Starbucks ad plastered over a summer blockbuster movie ad, often still wet from the one before it, symbolizing our ever-shortening attention spans and insatiable need for more and easily-digestible trends. I cut through and unearth layers upon layers, letting them feud among themselves in a figurative battle of one-upsmanship to become sculptural, textural commentaries on the society from which they are gathered, a society where newer/bigger/faster/more expensive is better, where consumerism is king, and where everything, including the very facets that make it unique, is expendable.