PUNK at Quay Arts

An exploration of punks past and present on the Island – in the form of visual art, design, music and fashion. It will cover the traditional punk visual art of the 1970s, as well as show contemporary works by present punk artists of today.

Sat 1 Dec 2018 – Sat 9th Feb 2019
Opening event: Sat 1 Dec 2-4pm. Free, all welcome.

The meeting of two cultures!

After the success of ‘Rappers Delight’ in 1979 many people expected that ‘Hip-Hop’ was just a novelty and a passing fad!

But a Bronx DJ who went by the name Africa Bambaataa had different ideas. He decided to try and take ‘Hip-Hop’ from the Bronx to the flamboyant party scene in Downtown New York. He found it difficult to get a foot in the door until a pioneer of the Graffiti scene Fab5Freddy who had already established himself in the Downtown art and club scene introduced him to fellow Street Artist Keith Haring. Haring then invited Africa Bambaataa to DJ at one of his New Wave Punk Rock parties – the crowd loved it!

The two movements truly identified with each other, Punk being an alternative to Rock, and Hip-Hop the alternative to Disco!

This went on to open countless doors to other Hip-Hop artists from all the elements including Rappers, DJ’s, breakdancers and Graffiti Artists.

The Clash who were on tour and making a documentary in New York got introduced to Hip-Hop through the Punk Hip Hop crossover parties and they got hooked on it. They went on to create a great relationship with Graffiti pioneer ‘Futura2000’ who went on to design record covers for them and toured with them painting live on stage.

The Band Blondie had also got bitten by the Hip-Hop bug and included several Graffiti Artists in the video for ‘Rapture’ including Fab5Freddy, along with DJ Grandmaster Flash and a host of Breakdancers.

UK visionary Malcolm McLaren who also while in New York promoting the UK New Waveband Bow Wow Wow witnessed ‘Hip-Hop’ culture first hand and found it captivating. He went on to release several ‘Hip-Hop inspired records and included Graffiti and breakdancing in the videos.

So the introduction of Hip-Hop to the Punk scene in Downtown New York in the late 1970’s and early 80’s helped elevate the culture and showcase the talent that had been developing their skills for a decade in the ghetto. This then brought it to the attention of the rest of the world.