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‘Liquidated Version’ Street Art by Zevs at the DeBuck Gallery in NYC

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Zevs: Liquidated Version. Courtesy of the DeBuck GalleryDuring the late 1980s and 1990s street art was embraced by the French youth, making it one of the largest graffiti and hip hop cultures outside of the United States. The anonymous French artist Zevs is a pioneer. He is razor-sharp, provocative and attention grabbing. The 33-year-old is embraced by art lovers and social activists alike for his style of tagging (the common act of spray painting an artists signature) by using high-pressure water spray on buildings. This erasure technique has been called by Zevs himself “Proper Graffiti.” Zevs has been at the very forefront of street art in France and now American fans are welcome to see what the hype is about in his solo show, Liquidated Version at the DeBuck Gallery in Manhattan.

Zevs is very much concerned with the instant reaction. For his current show, he has used the recent financial crisis as the main subject. By using the logos of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, for example, he has literally launched a visual art attack on huge corporations, some of which include fashion labels and fast-food chains. The logos appear to be destroyed and melting but they still remain instantly recognizable.

There is definitely a revived interest in street artists. Zevs and several others were highlighted in last year’s Academy Award nominated documentary [amazonify]B00470MG06::text::::Exit Through the Gift Shop,[/amazonify] which was directed and produced by the anonymous British graffiti artist/political activist Banksy.

I overheard some visitors calling the show “pretentious” and “obvious;” regardless it is still so worthy of attention–it is, after all, social commentary. It is mostly smart and a little tongue in cheek.

By exposing the nature and popularity of street art, it has obviously fed into the continual debate of whether this is art or vandalism. For example, Zevs’ last solo show saw him arrested for vandalism in Hong Kong after he painted over the logo at a Chanel store. Yet, Zevs has no issues taking his work indoors citing: “the gallery is like an office space, it reminds me of Psycho — a place of unspeakable horror, so I will make my show about that.”

The show closes April 7, 2011. The De Buck Gallery is located at 511 W. 25th Street in Manhattan. Gallery hours are 10am-6pm Monday – Friday  and 11am-6pm on Saturday. Call 212-255-5735 or visit

–Nikkita Flavius-Gottschalk is a Contributor to The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our new City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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