A police precinct is hardly a venue most people would consider apt for the display of modern art and graffiti, but thankfully the folks at Outlaw Arts are not “most people”.
Founded in 2011, Outlaw Arts is based in New York and focuses on giving a stronger voice and presence to the underground-indie art scene by featuring the works of local artists in both the habitual and unorthodox gallery settings. They’ve made no exception for this event they secured last year at the former home of the neighborhood’s police precinct on East 22nd Street, which was in operation in the late 1800s before the area was renumbered the 13th and moved to East 21st Street.

Last year’s exhibit featured over 50 artists and was deemed a massive success. You can see some photos from this event from extensive coverage via Animal New York and Gothamist.
The only bittersweet note of the affair was that the precinct building itself was slated to be demolished shortly afterwards, making way for yet another condominium, which the city can’t seem to get enough of these days. But a pesky thing like venue demolition hardly presents a challenge for this guerilla-inspired brand of art installation, and the collective stands poised once again for another invasion of unbridled creativity, albeit in a more traditional space.

This year it’s all going down at the Judith Charles Gallery on Bowery. Joining the collective effort is N Carlos J, who has been steadily building a name for himself in the underground art world, and enjoyed quite the reception at his recent Bushwick Open Studios exhibit, “The Beautiful Decay of Fear . His visual versatility, strong curation skills and modus operandi are perfectly inline with what Outlaw Arts is trying to accomplish in terms of urban expression and renewal; we are excited to see how this collaboration plays out.

Much like N Carlos Jay’s previous show, the creative effort revolves around the reclamation of the obsolete, giving a second life to salvaged materials. It’s a theme that New York knows too well, tying together elements of municipal evolution, gentrification, and the perpetually shifting demographics of a city that never stays the same.

-Juan Santos

Photos provided by Chris Carnage Nieves

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