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Somewhere in the title is a joke waiting to be made. But truthfully, graffiti artists have been part of the fine art scene for decades while still slinging paint on city walls in their free time. Last night, I was faced with a conundrum that I’ve never even thought about. How do you shoot an art opening when the artist of the evening can’t be photographed for fear that it might blow his or her cover?
Jonathan Levine Gallery is currently hosting a show of world renowned street artists, many of whom have never been caught on film. Most were present, and half asked that I not shoot their photo. Problem is, there were a dozen graffiti artists present and hundreds of guest. I did my best, and luckily, a handful of artists gave in and let me get a shot or two in. Sure, one can argue that if you are going to be present at an art opening, it’s silly to think you can hide your identity. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. But these guys were super nice and the event was a total success.