The Real Estate Show Was Then: 1980

The James Fuentes Gallery in New York's Lower East Side has recently opened a new exhibition, which features artwork originally displayed in a guerrilla art show known as The Real Estate Show, which opened on January 1st 1980 at 123 Delancey St.

Becky Howland,  The Real Estate Show  Poster, 1980

Becky Howland, The Real Estate Show Poster, 1980

A troupe of artists and civil rights activists, known as ‘Colab', banded together to curate The Real Estate Show, which was held in an unoccupied Government owned building, with no prior consent being sought from The City. The show served as a protest, with the main theme present in the original exhibit centring around the social injustices of New York City's real estate industry. The artworks feature subjects of racial inequality, corruption, anti-capitalism, gentrification and police brutality. The exhibition ran for less than 2 days after it was discovered by the New York City Department of Housing, which resulted in the building being bolted shut and the artwork seized.

The artworks would be fairly unremarkable when taken out of context, but displayed together, the gritty and unrefined energy they possess translates in a very powerful way, truly giving viewers an insight into the economic decay that the residents of the Lower East Side lived through in the 1970s and ’80’s.

A varied selection of the original artworks are being displayed at James Fuentes, as well as recreated pieces.

The exhibition runs until April 27, 2014

- James Fuentes Gallery, 55 Delancey Street, New York, NY