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Russell Simmons

Buttons as contemporary art, reimagined in NYC exhibition

There's no denying buttons are an important clothing item, but can they rise to the level of art? A new exhibition at a Manhattan gallery proves they can.

In the hands of 11 artists, the everyday, mundane objects are used to create sculptures, portraits and amazing wearable art — some political, personal or whimsical.

Each artist is "pushing buttons" beyond their normal use and reimagines and repurposes them as an artistic medium in contemporary art, said Peter "Souleo" Wright, curator of "The Button Show" at Rush Arts Gallery in Chelsea.

"What I tried to do with this show was look at artists who were elevating that level of...