Jason Allen 17/02/23


The writing has been on the wall for some time now.

Graffiti is an art-form.

And it’s an art form that’s long been eschewed by the art gallery crowd, mostly because art galleries tend to be, well, indoors. But now the most creative form of vandalism has its very own inside art show thanks to BEYOND THE STREETS, which is by far the most comprehensive street art exhibition the UK’s ever seen. You know, apart from Shoreditch.

This one’s in the Saatchi Gallery for the next couple of months, and it’s the work of one Roger Gastman –  a man who has edited graffiti magazines; written graffiti books; shot graffiti documentaries (he co-produced the Oscar-nominated Banksy documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop”); and curated graffiti art shows, including this one. And to say it’s been successful is underselling it a tad. When he debuted BEYOND THE STREETS in LA, it became the most visited show in the history of the LA Museum of Contemporary Art.

And now it’s here.

Beyond The Streets

Specifically, it’s in Chelsea which seems to be, rather incongruously, a graffiti desert outside of the show itself. The first thing you’ll notice as you wander in through the stately colonnades of the Saatchi Gallery and into the show itself is that every single wall, hallway, tunnel, and staircase is covered in graffiti. It’s everywhere. And there’s a lot of space to cover, with over a dozen rooms set across three floors. But what you quickly come to realise is that this is what makes graffiti unique as an art-form: the canvas is just as important as the image itself.

Beyond The Streets

Thus, the canvases here are given the attention they so rightly deserve. Some of the highlights along the way include an entire record store, fully recreated within one of the vast rooms; then there’s the 30 ft. painting that artist FUTURA2000 made while onstage with The Clash; a huge Beastie Boys installation loaded with clothes & ephemera from their (quite lengthy) heyday; Henry Chalfant’s docu-style photos of NYC train writers in action; and the eye-popping Cosmic Cavern filled with a chaotic explosion of neon day-glo paint on a black backdrop.

Along the way, you’ll be taken through the entire modern history of the art form, from its roots on the underground arts scene, to its influence on music & culture, from the ’70s to present day.

It’s worth tagging along.


NOTE: BEYOND THE STREETS will run from February 17th – May 9th 2023 at The Saatchi Gallery. Tickets are available right now (from £15) at the website right here.

Saatchi Gallery | Duke of York’s HQ, SW3 4RY

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Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, Chelsea, SW3 4RY

020 7811 3070