Artwork by Gus Cutty.
A little background on this space and it street art, via Mountain Xpress:
New work pops up frequently on the Hiawassee Street side of Forever Tattoo. The man behind this speedy street-art curation is Forever Tattoo owner and artist Rob Hunt.
The idea of showcasing local talent has been an interest of Hunt’s for quite some time. Hunt helped secure the wall in the old mill area next to the Hatchery in the River Arts District as a legal domain for graffiti artists. Last year, the old mill wall was off limits again, and Hunt’s wall began to play a more prominent role in showcasing Asheville’s street art talent.
Sometimes artists approach Hunt with sketches and mockups, but typically Hunt asks a friend to come down to the shop and paint something. Like most Asheville artists, Hunt is acquainted with the creative minds in town, including many anonymous street and graffiti artists. Some who’ve made it to the wall: Allen Hampton, Dustin Spagnola and Peter Parpan.
“It’s a pretty fluid operation,” says Hunt of his curatorial practice. If someone wants to paint the wall, though, it has to be quick, “If something takes a week or so to put up, it’s hardly worth the time, if the piece is going to be recycled in a month.”
Hunt notes that these works aren’t murals: “’Street art’ is the term.” This definition is partly due to the artists’ graffiti-art style and mostly to do with the works’ impermanence. Occasionally people are distressed when a piece disappears. But that’s how street art works. “How long the piece is up is relative to how good the piece is,” says Hunt.
Hunt admits that he doesn’t necessarily like all the works that make it onto the side of his building. But he puts his artistic preferences aside, and gives local street artists a legal space to exercise their artistry. It may be mediocre, it may be outstanding, but it won’t be boring.
Forever Tattoo is at 98 N. Lexington Ave.