Updated: Mar 23, 2020
This year started full of new projects for SAMA but, without any doubt, one of the most exciting news was the grant conceded by the Amsterdam Fonds voor the Kunst for the development of the exhibition “The Magic Dozen - Street Art in Amsterdam Nieuw-West”. It is the second year in a roll that SAMA is contemplated by AFK on a major project, being the first one the production and programming for the mural Memories, by Bastardilla. We are eager to develop an outstanding exhibition that will impact not only Nieuw-West but Amsterdam as a whole and the international street art scene.
The exhibition proposal consists of the selection of SAMA’s top 12 artists, the ones that are considered central to the museum for their authenticity and for profoundly influencing street art’s development as a contemporary art form in the last twenty years. The selected artists, which will be shortly announced, are not only internationally-acclaimed in their own right, but have profoundly contributed to or influenced street art, SAMA’s growth and development, and have made lasting impacts on Amsterdam Nieuw-West. The twelve that will be part of the exhibition come from a range of countries but are united in having found belonging in the street art subculture, and use of similar artistic methodologies to beautify, create meaning and generate social capital in marginalised communities such as this. These qualities make them able to relate and identify with the community they have found in Nieuw-West.
The exhibition will be the impetus begin of exhaustive research into the art historical, cultural heritage and societal significance of these twelve artists that will be divided into three groups: Pioneers, Innovators, and Educators. This division will also reflect spatially: each one of these categories will be placed on a different location within SAMA’s street art route, meaning that to see the whole exhibition it is necessary to visit all three spots. With this strategy, SAMA will be able to share the stories behind the artworks in our collection and the personal meanings for the local community, using from the three locations that will put people in contact with street art pieces that have been in the neighbourhood for years but because of the extensive route which they are spread on some residents might never have had contact with, stimulating residents and tourists to explore Amsterdam Nieuw-West.
The project will be accompanied by a limited edition printed catalogue of 15-20 pages highlighting the contributions and key-points of each of the twelve artists on display. The three locations will be selected based on their local significance as pre-existing value as activator spaces and community hubs, which will help the museum to connect with broader audiences at a grassroots level. This form of decentralisation, furthermore, aims to reflect SAMA’s organisational structure and belief that street art must be experienced in the urban realm in order to retain its authenticity and respect the works’ artistic value.
We are very thankful to AFK for supporting this project, which is of extreme importance to SAMA as the first big exhibition to showcase the gems in our collection, reinforcing the impact the museum has locally and internationally, as a long-lasting street art expert. We will be shortly announcing more details of the exhibition in the following weeks.