Art for Guys Who Hate Museums

Published on : NEW YORK TIMES

ON Monday morning, the street artist known as Blek le Rat, considered the godfather of stencil graffiti art, set out to create his latest work on a wall opposite the Standard Hotel on West 13th Street.

Mr. le Rat (né Xavier Prou) has been spray-painting his tag on monuments and street corners since 1981, and because what he does is usually illegal, he uses stencils to be speedy. He was working more leisurely on Monday, since the new work was commissioned by Details magazine as part of a strategy to align itself with creative types in different fields, including perhaps what is the last corner of the art world that had not yet been appropriated by fashion for its marketing purposes. Three other graffiti artists will create murals for Details in the coming weeks.

“Public art is probably one of the most transformative parts of urban living,” said Bill Wackerman, the publisher of Details. Mr. Wackerman is interested in how modern men, particularly those living in big cities, have outlived their metrosexual phase and are now going through something he called a “metromorphosis.” That is to say, they’re interested in things besides moisturizer. Like art. ….