Curated by Peter Frank and Lisa Kahane, Art Access & Decay: New York 1975-1985 is representative of art unhindered by the elite confines set by the art market. Presented at the Subliminal Projects Gallery until the end of the month, the exhibition will draw you into unexpected art forms.

Such uncompromised art was first seen in the 1970s in New York. Art was no longer defined by regulations set by the elite, but began seeping through the boundaries, morphing into forms that people did not expect to see. Art was not limited to colorful paintings; it was larger than that … it expanded and surprised people. These artworks were displayed on streets, in makeshift storefronts and on public access televisions to ensure that it was easily accessible to the people.

Accessibility. That’s what the idea was of New York art in 1975-1985. It was art that everybody could understand and reach without difficulty. As guerrilla approaches to art increased, a new artistic expression emerged and people began embracing the imminent street art style.

That said, Art Access & Decay is a collection of the street-style art. Subliminal Projects Gallery, the perfect venue for art revolving around the street concept, lays out multiple pieces created by many different artists. The idea is to be ordinary, but special; it’s a paradox. Even though some of the pieces in the gallery may not seem ordinary, or not so characteristic of what some people may consider art, the vibrant colors, textures and forms call forth a sort of attractiveness different from what may have been considered as “elite” art.

From political, social and economic messages as well as slightly disturbing sexual content, street style art is by all means a perfect method in which the artists’ voices can be heard, as it is unrestrained by, well, practically anything. Instead the artist is able to be creative. And just so, the exhibition overflows with work created from an assortment of materials from acrylic paint, wires, plastic, photographs, to paper (just to name a few). If you don’t find Monet, Picasso or Raphael’s art to be interesting, this collage of works may spark some flavor into your artistic side.

Small but offering much to see, the exhibit displays artworks unique from each other yet roped together with a sense of unity that the viewer is able to question. What is it that made the artist develop such a piece? Thankfully, the messages of the individual works are not too obscure; a bit of pondering, or perhaps reading the words on the pieces, will lay out its purposes.

Otherwise, some pieces may be completely random. Straightforwardness and self-explanatory are important, but randomness and willingness to show something that may not be artworthy as art are also the key components that make the exhibition so appealing. Unlike art you may find in, let's say, a Picasso exhibit, Art Access & Decay offers a form of contemporary art that you may have never approached before. Take for example a pair of Japanese fans with skulls painted on them. Strange to say, but each piece within the exhibit has a voice. It feels as though, with its lush colors and subjects, each artwork screams out a powerful vibe, a willingness to be heard.

I know, this sounds like I am glamorizing the work. Perhaps I am. Nevertheless, in this small gallery just a bit off of Chinatown are so much energy and culture in an exhibit that is worth experiencing. Many of the works may not make much meaning to yourself as an individual, but do not fail to notice that artists may have had a specific purpose and meaning attached to the piece.

Subliminal Projects Gallery is located at 1331 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, visit