We would like to apologize to all of our fans, friends and supporters who attended our February 6th exhibition at Galleria Pavesi in Milano, Italy. The exhibition displayed was not the one we spent so much time, effort, resources and energy on.
We were upfront with Galleria Pavesi from the beginning about what our exhibition would entail. We were perfectly clear with the gallery that it would revolve around the illegal aspects of graffiti. The gallery stated that they were OK with this and agreed to our terms. Upon the gallery’s request we even signed a “contract” stating that we would be renting the gallery, so that if there was any legal blowback, it would fall on us, not them. However, after numerous visits from various jurisdictions of police in the days prior to the opening, the gallery became nervous about the legalities of showing our exhibition, which includes photo and video installations of illegal graffiti acts. Instead of being honest with us about this, they chose instead to censor our artwork without our knowledge or consent.
Over 60% of the show we had planned was not displayed. No one contacted us about these changes, despite having ample time and opportunity to do so. We were not able to be in Milano at the time of the show, (we informed the gallery of this months in advance), but made sure we were available to talk every day for the month leading up to the show. Leading up to the show, we emailed the gallery numerous times to discuss the details of how things were to be displayed and to make sure that everything was going according to plan. We were constantly assured that all was fine, when clearly it wasn’t.
What was displayed was done so extremely out of context. The artwork hung on the walls loses its significance without the corresponding video and photos. There is no context for the viewer to put them in .The gallery’s actions took all of the meaning, message and vitality out of our artwork and exhibition.
As many of you reading this know, we have each spent a year in jail for our art and our principles. We are not ones to back down from controversy or bend to the popular demand. We have worked hard our entire careers of writing graffiti (and our entire lives in general) to never compromise ourselves or our artistic visions. We feel that by censoring us and doing so behind our backs, Galleria Pavesi has embarrassed us, insulted our art and greatly compromised our vision and everything we stand for. We were deceived, and in turn so was everyone who attended the show, which to us is something unforgivable.
We are ashamed at how this exhibition was executed and are disappointed beyond what words can express. We made it very clear to the gallery that we would rather have the police confiscate all of our artwork and press criminal charges against us than to be censored and not exhibit the show as we wanted and planned. We rarely show artwork, and when we do so it isn’t primarily for monitory gain but rather to showcase something that we worked hard to create, something that we feel is special and worthwhile. Something that we feel others will enjoy and think is worthwhile too. We feel that Galleria Pavesi robbed us of the chance to do this. Instead of keeping their promises, our name and notoriety were merely used to hype up the gallery. The quality and message of our exhibition was not at all a priority or concern of the gallery.
Though we have received many accolades and much interest from various collectors, museums and art institutions regarding the show, none of this matters to us as we do not feel that the show that was displayed represents us accurately. We have requested that the gallery take down our portion of the exhibition, and they have agreed. We are currently in talks with various galleries in France, Germany and Italy to reshow this exhibition as it was intended to be shown the first time, alongside newer material we have been working on.
We will post the details of the next exhibition when we decide on a location and iron out the details. We intend to give out 100 free zines at this next exhibition as a token of our sincerest apologies for the unprofessional manner in which our artwork was displayed.