Roger Gastman’s New Venture: A Digital Art Fair

The curator and graffiti historian Roger Gastman has partnered with NTWRK, a digital shopping platform, to produce a virtual showcase that will feature work by artists including Felipe Pantone, Kenny Scharf and Mark Machado, a.k.a. Mister Cartoon.

Mr. Gastman said in an interview that he sees the event, which shares a name with his touring art exhibition — “Beyond the Streets” — as a continuation of his efforts to preserve the culture of street art and expand its appeal. He said the upshot of collaborating with NTWRK, which specializes in limited-edition casual fashion and collectibles, is that it will allow the artists to reach a “larger, newer audience” while in-person gatherings remain restricted because of the pandemic.

The art fair, which begins in the early afternoon on Dec. 5 and continues the next day, will allow each artist roughly 30 minutes to present their work through a creative video broadcast on the NTWRK app. During that time, users will have the opportunity to buy the artist’s creations.

Some purists may balk at the fair’s brazen blend of creativity and commerce, but Mr. Gastman isn’t bothered. “Some artists’ work looks incredible on skate decks and apparel and some of it doesn’t work once it leaves the canvas or whatever structure it’s on,” he said. “Part of the job of a good curator is to work with the artist to make sure that what they’re doing and the message of their work is still communicated on whatever product it is then placed on.”

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