Art Review: No Imitation @ Imitate Modern

Street art seems to be moving off the streets and indoors, as seen in the successful Urban Masters and Shepard Fairey exhibitions. Following this trend is the latest exhibition at Imitate Modern featuring works by 15 street artists from stalwarts such as Banksy and Mr Brainwash through to emerging talents.

Mr. Brainwash is well represented here in his usual exuberant style but even his works seem toned down in comparison to Goldie’s, where some subtlety should have been exercised. Even though there’s only one small work by Banksy present, his set of £10 notes featuring Princess Diana’s head is a cut above the political messages presented by other artists in this show.

Transferring street art into a gallery can be tricky and Stik’s stick figures don’t translate too well, yet Invader’s pixelated celebrity portraits are perfectly suited to these settings. Despite the big names being the draw for this exhibition, it’s the lesser known artists that were our favourite discoveries. We liked Miss Bugs’ angelic Captain America and our highlight is Fin Dac’s black and white portraits where a colourful mask is splashed across his subjects – they are striking and exude style.

There are some works that didn’t strike a chord with us, yet there is enough high quality here for us to recommend this exhibition to fans of street art.

No Imitation is on display at Imitate Modern, 27a Devonshire St, W1G 6PN until 31 January. Entrance is free.

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