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Woodstock Goes Hip-Hop


One of the most notable differences about living in the Catskills after 17 years in New York City is getting used to the total lack of hip-hop culture. That absence will be partly remedied this weekend with the opening of a New York City Graffiti Art Show at the Varga Gallery on Tinker Street, the same “main street”’ that houses all the tie-dye and trinkets stores for the Woodstock bus tourists.

Dr. Revolt is one of the artists featured in the New York City Graffiti Art Show at Woodstock’s Varga Gallery. Presumably the wall above is itself not part of the show!

The Varga Graffiti show comes with credentials. It’s curated by ex-(NYC)pats Stacey Fine and her husband Steve Hager, the author of Art After Midnight and the 1982 book Hip-Hop, and the first writer ever to put those seminal words into print, back when quoting Afrika Bambaataa for the Village Voice. Graffiti will be on show by LSD-Om, ZEPHYR, DR. REVOLT, FLINT…, TEAM, KR ONE and WHISPER. There’s an artists’ reception on Saturday August 11, from 6-9pm, which usually means the chance to mingle with the artists and drink free Yellowt**l; true connoisseurs of the genre, however, may prefer to make note of September 8, when Hager will co-chair a panel about NYC graffiti with Carlo McCormick, NYC Denizen and Senior Editor of that city’s long-standing lifestyle magazine Paper.

I would love to attend on Saturday, in part to see the artists themselves, who must all now be in their 40s and more. However, the wife and I are taking a desperately needed week away from home construction and may be gone by Saturday afternoon. If so, I’ll definitely check it upon return. I highly recommend it to other local residents if only for the fact that, according to the gallery itself, “this is the first graffiti show in the Hudson Valley.” Told you we don’t get much hip-hop up here.

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