Cruel Summer

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The Old School Pulse of the City Spray Paint And Paint Marker On Canvas 28 X 70 Inches (71.12 X 177.80 Cm) © Courtesy of the Artist and Jonathan LeVine Gallery - 529 W. 20th
Cruel Summer
Curated by: Roger Gastman

529 W. 20th Street, 9E
New York, NY 10011
August 6th, 2014 - August 23rd, 2014
Opening: August 6th, 2014 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Tue-Sat 11-6


Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Cruel Summer, a group exhibition curated by collector, graffiti historian and urban anthropologist Roger Gastman.

"The summer of 1984 was awesome. The space shuttle Discovery took off on its maiden voyage, Apple released the Macintosh personal computer, the Olympics rallied the world together and Karate Kid was the hit film featuring the song Cruel Summer by Bananarama. The song and its video of three gorgeous young women roaming the streets of New York City inspired this show." — Roger Gastman

Cruel Summer will take place in both locations of Jonathan LeVine Gallery (557C West 23rd Street & 529 West 20th Street, in Chelsea) and feature works by over 20 artists, including: Ben Venom, Blade, Caleb Neelon, Cleon Peterson, Cope, Dabs Myla, Eric Haze, Finok, Freedom, Horfe, HuskMitNavn, Mark Bode, Maya Hayuk, Mike Ballard (Cept), Mike Giant, Niagara, Pose, Revok, Rime, Risk, Sam Friedman, Shepard Fairey, Tim Conlon and Victor Reyes.

Hot summer streets ~ And the pavements are burning ~ I sit around
Trying to smile ~ But the air is so heavy and dry
Strange voices are saying ~ What did they say ~ Things I can't understand
It's too close for comfort ~ This heat has got right out of hand
It's a cruel, cruel summer ~ Leaving me here on my own
It's a cruel, cruel summer ~ Now you're gone


Roger Gastman began writing graffiti as a teenager in Bethesda, MD, and later parlayed his love for it into a legitimate career as a trusted mediator between underground art scenes and mainstream culture. He founded and published two pop-culture magazines in the 1990s and 2000s called While You Were Sleeping and Swindle (co-published with Shepard Fairey). Gastman served as consulting producer for Banksy’s Oscar-nominated documentary film Exit Through the Gift Shop and has authored over 30 art books including The History of American Graffiti, the definitive story behind the most influential art form in the last 100 years. In 2011, Gastman co-curated Art in the Streets, an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Los Angeles, the first comprehensive survey of graffiti and street art at a major museum in the United States. He curated PUMP ME UP: D.C. subculture of the 1980s at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2013 and produced The Legend of COOL "DISCO" DAN, a companion documentary narrated by Henry Rollins.