Beastie Boys “EXHIBIT” Opens in LA at CONTROL Gallery

Janice K. Johnson

Beastie Boys EXHIBIT. Control Gallery – Beyond The Streets. (photo © Ari Marcopoulos courtesy of Beyond The Streets)

Here, for a few stolen moments, you can look at these items, most previously unseen, which floated through the lives of that nice Jewish boy band named Beastie back when Reagan was trickling down and the Dead Kennedy’s held forth. It’s called simply “Exhibit”; lending a bit of institutional weight to a curious and eclectic collection of personal items, artifacts, and ephemera— the kind of stuff you scan and absorb, inferring its weight, volume, and texture. You may imagine what the moment was like – and imagine what it was like to be a Beastie Boy.

Beastie Boys EXHIBIT. Control Gallery – Beyond The Streets. (image courtesy of Beyond The Streets)

Artists Cey Adams and Eric Haze figure strongly into the street-inspired visual aesthetic that packaged the unruly New York punk-hip-hop-abstract jazz trio during their rise in the 1980s and 90s. Just gazing across the collection, it strikes you again how our modern era gets much of its character from the legion of designers and artists who have presented it – in addition to the talent projected by the names on the marquee.

Now 40 years in and one very loved man down, the brash, uncouth manners and frankly nasty lyrics are tempered by our collective maturity, admitted to almost apologetically, and the ephemera and the work is what remains. The enthusiastic zestful energy that first busted a new identity in a chaotic sound field is here for you; in these displays, these videos, these vibes, and their intergalactic funk.

Beastie Boys memorabilia from Beyond The Streets NYC. June 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The first show of its kind about the Beastie Boys opens Saturday, December 10, at CONTROL Gallery on the US coast opposite New York – possibly more sun-drenched and skate culture inflected – but certainly bringing the “sonic irreverence of hardcore and punk, blended with the bawdy and rebellious sounds of emergent hip-hop,” they became known for.

“The story of punk rock, hip-hop, skateboarding, and graffiti wouldn’t be complete without a chapter on Beastie Boys and the inedible mark they made on a movement that harmoniously merged the worlds of music and youth culture into a soundscape and experience all of its own,” says curator and co-founder Roger Gastman in a press release.

Beastie Boys fans will see a full sweep of ephemera and priceless idiosyncratic memorabilia they collected while making and promoting their albums – from Licensed To Ill, to Paul’s Boutique, to Check Your Head & Ill Communication, Hello Nasty, The Mix-Up, and Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.

“We’re happy that someone besides us appreciates all the weird shit we’ve collected,” says Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz.

EXHIBIT is produced by CONTROL Gallery, BEYOND THE STREETS, and Goldenvoice.

For further details and information on Beastie Boys Exhibit click HERE

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