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patti astor, straat museum, fun gallery, wild style

RIP Patti Astor

This morning, STRAAT learned of the passing of Patti Astor, a significant advocate for graffiti and street art as legitimate forms of artistic expression. Astor will always be remembered as the co-founder of the FUN Gallery and for her role in the iconic film Wild Style.

In 1981, Astor was introduced to Bill Stelling through a friend. Stelling had recently opened a gallery on East Eleventh Street and asked Astor if she knew any talented artists. Thanks to her friendship with Fab 5 Freddy, Astor had formed connections with several graffiti artists.

Steven Kramer and Kenny Scharf were the first artists to exhibit at the FUN Gallery. Subsequent exhibitions featured renowned artists such as Keith Haring, Dondi, and Futura 2000. The gallery wasn't solely dedicated to graffiti; these were simply the artists Astor was hanging out with, and like she put it herself: “‘I thought they were doing things of value.”

In many ways, our museum continues the vision that Patti Astor had over forty years ago - and she undoubtedly did things of value herself. We are committed to upholding her legacy. Our condolences go out to her friends and family.

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