On December 13th, 2007 Gallery 151’s premiere exhibition, The Wild Style Exhibit, unveiled a collaborative wall of historical graffiti, discovered during the renovation of 151 Wooster Street in Soho. Matthew Namer, the son of the downtown developer Michael Namer, discovered the wall at the same time that renovations were planned to be made to the building. 151 Wooster Street became the first iteration of Gallery 151, which would subsequently call locations throughout downtown Manhattan home in the years to come while hosting over sixty exhibitions. Now, Gallery 151 celebrates DECADE, its 10th-anniversary exhibition, at its current location, 245 West 14th Street in Downtown Manhattan.
For the 10th Anniversary exhibition, sections of the Wooster Street Wild Style Wall will be available for public viewing alongside select historical photographs captured by Bobby Grossman of the Graffiti scene in the early
1980s and photographs from the 2007 discovery of the Wooster Street Wild Style Wall by Robert Weingarten. DECADE will also feature recent works on canvas by Fab 5 Freddy and selections from the collection of Michael Namer, including ERO and LA2.
Visitors will be able to interact with the Wooster Street Wild Style Wall through an augmented reality experience using Blippar technology, enabling viewers to see missing pieces of the wall directly in conversation with the successfully migrated tags for the very first time.The opening will also include an interactive touch-screen projection, allowing guests to virtually author their own tags. This interactive and augmented reality experience is produced by Wallplay.
Edit DeAk, a resident on the eighth floor of 151 Wooster until 1984, allowed young artists in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s tag a wall in her loft with spray paint, grease pencil, and marker. Many of these artists have gained canonical notoriety in the fine arts, including but not limited to Jean-Michel Basquiat, Fab 5 Freddy, Francesco Clemente, Futura 2000, ERO, Nesto, Koor, and Johnny Dynell. DeAk’s graffiti wall was hidden beneath gypsum board for over 30 years, finally uncovered during the building’s conversion in 2007.
Renovations to the building were quickly halted upon the discovery, allowing the Namer family to prioritize migrating the wall, helping to preserve and display the graffiti time capsule to a wider audience. Since the wall’s discovery, Gallery 151 has supported emerging New York-based artists and provided a platform for their talent to be recognized by the public, expanding its vernacular to include issues of sustainability and environmental responsibility.