September 8, 2022–February 12, 2023
Posters can be a democratic medium. Made to appeal to broad audiences, posters both reflect and shape popular culture. They are a part of the city, and they become a part of us when they get into our heads. They can be used by anyone from the largest corporations to DIY party promoters.
Still…we never asked for this. Posters tend to be a one-way street, communication from brand to person. What if it’s the appropriators of posters, the artists who steal that powerful visual language and twist it, who best demonstrate the democratic potential of the medium? This show is about the artists who turn posters into conversations.
This exhibition flips Poster House’s mission on its head: Masked Vigilantes on Silent Motorbikes is not an exhibition of posters as art, but of art that incorporates found, re-configured, and even shredded posters as raw material for making new art. These artworks draw on the popular language of posters to tell new stories.
Masked Vigilantes on Silent Motorbikes invites visitors to consider the power of the poster for good, ill, and otherwise. How do posters reflect and shape our thoughts? What energies do they inject into our cities? How can they be used to celebrate, critique, and re-interpret the world? From décollage to homage to culture jamming, the artists of Masked Vigilantes on Silent Motorbikes are engaging with those questions.
RJ Rushmore is a writer, curator, and public art advocate. Working with artists including Shepard Fairey, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and Jess X. Snow, RJ builds projects that disrupt visual culture. He is a cofounder of Art in Ad Places, a guerrilla public art campaign across New York City’s payphones, and he has curated projects for The L.I.S.A. Project NYC, Mural Arts Philadelphia, LMNL Gallery, and the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College. RJ has been called everything from “one of the most respected critics of street and graffiti art in the world” to “petty criminal.”
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