"Your misery will be refunded at the door" was the closing line of Alex Stapelton’s short Outside In: The Story of Art In The Streets.
One of my favorite places to spend time in Los Angeles is The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), and I was honored to be invited to a pre-screening of Outside In at Soho House last night.
MOCA, in conjunction with Art in the Streets, is the first comprehensive U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art. Outside In, gractiously commissioned by Levi’s®, was created to document the artists and the real story behind the MOCA’s exhibit.
I got a chance to catch up with Alex and pick her brain about her film for a minute. Media attention for street artists has been on the rise in this country since the release of Exit Through The Giftshop, but graffiti art in Los Angeles has been a popular attraction for years. I was dying to know Why now? Why graffiti art? And I’ve got to say her response rocked my world.
To paraphrase, Alex is a woman, but not a girlie girl, she doesn’t want to watch ‘chick flicks’ all the time, or talk about shopping with her friends at dinner, yet she’s still a woman. So with this film, she wanted to expose some emotion, and convey why artists risk their freedom, families, careers, and even lives to do what they love…and it definitely comes across in her short, with well known artists like Revok, Retna, CR Stecyk III, Jeffrey Deitch, Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, LEE, ESPO, and many others coming together to make not just the exhibition, but the installation set-ups and build up a special process to see unfold.
She finished our discussion by saying ‘chicks like to do cool shit too.’ As a fem, writing about weird ass indie music all day, it’s nice to know someone else out there gets where I’m coming from, and it really having nothing to do with being a woman. Just doing what you love, because you love it.