By Terri Ciccone
The first photo by the author, the rest of the photos by Photos by Jakop Nazaretyan Photography, the courtesy of Factory Fresh.
Skewville, a set of street art twin brothers, celebrated their birthday last Friday at Factory Fresh. Instead of cakes, games, line dancing and presents, there was beer, wooden sneakers, giant dice used as chairs, and the musical styling’s of the band Anxiateam, comprised of the artists responsible for the gallery’s outdoor spaces, Jon Burgerman and Jim Avignon.
When you walk in the gallery, it’s as if three decades of Skewville’s work was put in a pile and then blown up. Every inch of the space is covered in the duo’s very recognizable style. The big block wood and/or cement cut outs that spell thinks like “skew” “NYC” “Hype” and “power” among many other things commanded the space, marking it as their own.
Marking territory is a practice Skewville is very familiar with. One piece in the show is a lawn mower designed to mow the words “Keep On the Grass.” And more famously, strewn about the space is Skewville’s “When Dogs Fly” pieces. Ever see sneakers strung up over telephone lines in the city? Skewville has been practicing this ritual since they were children, and look at it as a way of making their mark in a place. “When Dogs Fly” refers to the busted shoes that adorn your tired achy feet, or “dogs”. Each sneaker is painted on wood, and then can be cut out and strung up over telephone lines. Skewville has been peddling this practice all around the country, customizing certain dogs to certain places, and leaving their mark on the wires.
This show is like entering Willy Wonka’s factory, but instead of imaginative versions of sweets we have that of street culture. There are recognizable bright images and objects everywhere, cement blocks, fire hydrants, dice, traffic barriers, and yet they are all “wonkafied,” or Skewvillified into a dream land of cartoon-like and stylized pieces to reflect the impression this team has left on their city.