Exit cash machines and trollies, enter spray cans and hooded skateboard artists as a new street supermarket, Strokar Inside, opens in a former food retailers in the Molière district of Brussels, Belgium.
The Belgian capital has recently taken the lead in the urban art movement and is becoming an international platform of contemporary art. Having opened in September as a dedicated hub for street art, Strokar Inside is now set to become one of Europe’s urban art temples.
The huge 5000m² space, which was originally a roller-skating rink at the turn of the 20th century, is now exhibiting and selling artworks by some of the biggest names in the street art world. The dimly-lit store – which is outright dark at times – will not only host street art pieces by the most renowned international artists, but it will display works by local painters like Jean-Luc Moerman. It will also put on interactive performances.
One of the first exhibitions on display will be a ‘Legends of New York’ show by T-Kid, a former gang member from the Bronx who used to paint in the New York City subway. Visitors can also expect graffiti on rubbish bins with Belgian ministers’ faces and a shared gallery space between the work of American Kool Koor and the controversial reproductions of Belgian icons by Italian artist Andrea Ravo Mattoni. Think: Rubens, van Eyck or Brueghel painted with aerosol.
What Fred Atax and Alexandra Lambers, the co-creators of Strokar, want to stage here is the street itself: with graffiti, skating, BMXs, performance dance, music and much more. There are no constraints: each artist is invited to project their ideas on the wall. Expect to be surprised in the upcoming months, perhaps even with a collaboration between Belgian chefs and urban artists. Why not?