Vandalog Interviewed the Creators of “Street Art Throwdown”

Some of the most respected street and graffiti artists have been outspoken about their disdain for Oxygen’s new show Street Art Throwdown.

In a press release, Oxygen said the show, “brings art to life with its groundbreaking, adrenaline-charged competition series.” But the show features very few names who would bring credibility to the show within the graffiti community—if that’s even possible.

“World-renowned street artist Justin BUA plays host, co-judge, and executive producer on the show, which pits 10 of the country’s most promising artists against one another,” the press release says. “The series tests not only their physical stamina, but also pushes their artistic skills to the limit in hopes of jumpstarting their career with a $100,000 grand prize,” they continued.

Although it sounds like just another harmless reality TV show, Street Art Throwdown left much to be desired by prominent names in the street art community.

So, respected graffiti blog Vandalog interviewed Justin BUA to find out the real deal behind the controversial new show that many artists fear will dumb-down the contestants and culture. And they were surprised at how conflicted they felt afterwards.

BUA said he thought the show “was a great idea and not an exploitative one,” but also maintains that there are many prominent members of the street artist community who will appear on the show, including Ron English, Mear One, OG Slick, Lady Pink, Claw Money, Jules Much, and others.

He also says the good that could result from the show will outweigh the bad: “This show gives a platform for a beautiful art form that the majority of the world views as vandalism,” he said. “Most of America thinks the average street artist is a hooded vandal lurking in the shadows tagging on public property with no artistic veracity. This show is a good educational tool to showcase not only the skill sets of the contestants but their unyielding necessity to paint.”

He also went on to talk about the fact that many street artists do commercial work all the time so he feels it’s hypocritical for those artists to have such a negative reaction to his new show.

“Artists need recognition and there is no bigger and mightier podium than television. There is a difference between ‘selling out’ and having an actual say in the discussion. I respect debate more than I respect shutting people down when you don’t agree. This show furthers a debate and lets people in instead of locking them out.”

Read the entire exchange on Vandalog and decide for yourself whether Street Art Throwdown offers up a new way for the masses to engage with the street art community or if you think it’s just a platform for artists to sell out.

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