Promoting urban art in the Renaissance cradle: the Challenge of the Street Levels Gallery in Florence

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The Street Levels Gallery was born in 2016 by the meeting of young artists and the Progeas Family, a florentine organization of cultural producers. The gallery is unique in Tuscany and Matteo Bidini, who together with Gianluca Milli manages the gallery, explains why it is.

Who are you and how / when did you get the idea?
Street Levels Gallery  is a place dedicated to exposure and  give information about urban art. In via Palazzuolo 74/r, there used to be an art workshop since 2013. In December 2016 artists from the lab decided to make the site a creative hub and an exhibition space. In collaboration with Progeas Family, Street Levels Gallery promotes urban art through projects and workshops across the country.

Street Art, Urban Art, Public Art: are they synonymous or is there any difference?
There are many differences between these words. “Street art” encompasses a wide range of disciplines that many times have in common with each other only the place of fruition, the road. It is a deliberately confusing word, used by media and galleries as a label for a movement that should be studied in depth. “Urban art” is the art on the cities’ walls painted by spray or paint, realized through a design process that, in addition to the artist, involves third parties such as the public, institutions or curators. “Public art”, on the other hand, is something more extensive concerning all kind of art in the city, for example the sculptures in the middle of the roundabout.

Street Art in Italy and abroad: tell me the differences about the fruition and the promotion
In Italy Street Art came late in comparison to other countries such as France, Germany, the Netherlands or Spain. But in a very short time we have become the country with the largest number of street art festivals in Europe; most of which has no reason to exist. We believe that art and culture are things to be treated seriously and, unfortunately, in Italy we always turn everything into the worst version of ourselves. Looking around we see so much improvisation and incompetence; in other countries things go a little better just because there is less improvisation.

Street Art in Florence: how is the Florentine situation?
Florence is a city not very permeable to the contemporary arts. We do a great job here and we are very pleased for our goals. Florence has a large number of urban artists active in the city but none of them is Florentine. They are all artists born elsewhere and for one reason or another they have been sharing the same path. This should make you think about how much this city really invests in its young people and their future.

What projects have you done so far? Which is the most important?
So far we have already hosted many important exhibitions, but we believe that the most important and complete project was the last one realized with Nemo’s. H2O is not just a personal exhibition by Nemo’s urban artist, but also a presentation of books. We made also a mural on the façe of the Casa del Popolo SMS in Peretola.

How is Nemo’s show going on and what do you want to communicate with this choice?
The show is going very well, it has been welcomed with great enthusiasm and we are very happy and proud to have brought an artist like Nemo’s in this city. His themes and drawings touch the spectator closely, having the power to change the perception of the world. This is culturally relevant art, otherwise it is just about decorating.

Info:

Street Levels Gallery
Via Palazzuolo 74ar – Firenze
http://street-level-gallery.business.site/

5_Murales PeretolaNEMO’s, Mural for Casa del Popolo SMS, Peretola, november 2017

3Who is NEMO’s & H2O – Presentation of the books and Nemo’s exhibition, november 2017

4Who is NEMO’s & H2O – Presentation of the books and Nemo’s exhibition, november 2017

2_Urban Nature URBAN NATURE Exhibithion, Installation view, february – march 2016

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