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Street Art Makes Its Debut in Greenwich

GREENWICH, Conn. – Greenwich art enthusiasts can view never-before-seen works by renowned street artists this month at the Samuel Owen Gallery.

“It’s something that is going to be totally new here,” said Lee Millazo, who opened the gallery in June with his wife, Cindy.

The show, “On Every Street,” was curated by Michael DeFeo , a contemporary street artist and Westhill High School art teacher who says he’s been creating illegal works on city streets all over the world for the past 18 years.

“I’ve known Michael for a long time,” said Millazo, “and I’ve known about street art and I’ve been getting myself submerged in the world of street art.” Millazo, who lives in Greenwich, hopes “On Every Street” will be an education for Greenwich residents unfamiliar with street art.

DeFeo, best known in the street art movement for his ubiquitous flower image, said that when he started, few people had heard of street artists and few were even doing it.

“I wanted to share my work with a bigger audience than a gallery could give me,” the artist says. “I wanted to do it on my terms and have complete freedom to do whatever I wanted, and to become literally part of the fabric of the city. And of course, that it was illegal tickled me. [Over time] there’s been tremendous change. It’s super exciting that so many people are now participating and decorating their neighborhoods.”

DeFeo contacted street artist friends to contribute works to the show. Each provided one to three pieces, some creating works specifically for “On Every Street.” DeFeo said he wanted a mix of the sexes, materials and aesthetics and works that spanned the decades to give a representation of the history of street art. “What enticed me about doing it here was introducing what I do and what my friends do to a whole new audience and really bring it to their front door outside of the big city,” said DeFeo.

Among the show’s featured artists will be Shepard Fairey, whose Barack Obama “Hope” poster became synonymous with the Obama’s presidential campaign; Banksy, known for his stenciled satirical, political and social commentary; and John Fekner, an early influencer in the movement known for his original and stenciled words, symbols, dates and icons spray-painted from New York to Germany in the 1970s and ’80s.

“There’s going to be a very small group of people who will know who these artists are,” said Millazo. “Most people know Banksy or Shepard Fairey, but there’s this whole other group that are doing work that’s just as good, just as relevant. It will be fun to educate people around here and discover the people who know the work.”

Artists featured in “On Every Street” include Above, Aiko, Michael Anderson, Banksy, Jean-Michael Basquiat, C215, Tony Curanaj, Michael De Feo, D*Face, Ellis Gallagher, Keith Haring, Ron English, Blek le rat, Faile, Shepard Fairey, John Fekner, JMR, Gaia, Richard Hambleton, Hargo, Maya Hayuk, Don Leicht, Tom Otterness, Lady Pink, Lister, Ripo, Mike Sajnoski, Jeff Soto, Chris Stain, Swoon, Thundercut and Dan Witz.

The exhibit opened with a reception Thursday and will run through Nov. 3 at Samuel Owen Gallery, located at 378 Greenwich Ave. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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