From May 1979 to January of 1987, the East Village Eye, a monthly magazine of popular and avant garde culture, exerted a profound influence that eventually reached across the entire world.
Coverage in the Eye resulted in development of several key “scenes” that eventually evolved into movements felt all over the planet. Some credit the Eye with creating the East Village art scene, which nurtured legendary talents such as Keith Haring and David Wojnarowicz, while the Eye’s coverage of other emerging New York artists such as Sue Coe, Barbara Kruger and Kiki Smith helped illuminate the psychosocial conflicts running through the contemporary brain. Many such artists made work specifically for publication in the Eye.
When hip hop started to emerge from the ghettoes of New York, the Eye was there with early stories on historical figures like Afrikaa Bambaataa, Fab Five Freddy, Futura 2000, Run DMC, the Rock Steady Crew and many others. How early? The East Village Eye was the first publication ever to print the words “hip hop”.
The mini-symposium entitled “How Hip Hop Came Downtown”, September 18 from 6pm at
Printed Matter in New York, will cover the process in which members of New York’s media and fine art communities brought rap music, graffiti art and breakdancing from the inner-city ghettos to a wider audience that has since spread across the world. Leading this discussion will be Eye publisher/editor Leonard Abrams, scholar Yazmin Ramirez, musician and multimedia artist Michael Holman, and the celebrated artist and media figure Fab 5 Freddy. Plus special guest appearances!