Aerosol Kingdom: Subway Painters of New York City

Overview

Hailed as the seminal study of spray can art of the 1970s and 1980s, Aerosol Kingdom explores the origins and aesthetics of graffiti writings.

From a vast array of inherited traditions and gritty urban lifestyles talented and renegade young New Yorkers spawned a culture of their own, a balloon-lettered shout heralding the coming of hip-hop. Though helpless in checking its spreading appeal, city fathers immediately went on the attack and denounced it as vandalism. Many ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$40.00
BN.com price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (4) from $23.80   
  • New (2) from $39.99   
  • Used (2) from $23.80   
Sending request ...

Overview

Hailed as the seminal study of spray can art of the 1970s and 1980s, Aerosol Kingdom explores the origins and aesthetics of graffiti writings.

From a vast array of inherited traditions and gritty urban lifestyles talented and renegade young New Yorkers spawned a culture of their own, a balloon-lettered shout heralding the coming of hip-hop. Though helpless in checking its spreading appeal, city fathers immediately went on the attack and denounced it as vandalism. Many aficionados, however, recognized its trendy aesthetic immediately. By the 1980s spray-paint art hit the mainstream, and subway painters, mostly from marginal barrios of the city, became art world darlings. Their proliferating, ephemeral art was spotlighted in downtown galleries, in the media, and thereafter throughout the land. Not only did the practice of "public signaturing" take over New York City, but also, as the images moved through the neighborhoods on the subway cars, it also grabbed hold in the suburbs. Soon it stirred worldwide imitation and helped spark the hip-hop revolution.

As the artists wielded their spray cans, they expressed their acute social consciousness. Aerosol Kingdom documents their careers and records the reflections of key figures in the movement. It examines converging forces that made aerosol art possible--the immigration of Caribbean peoples, the reinforcing presence of black American working-class styles and fashions, the effects of advertising on children, the mass marketing of spray cans, and the popular protests of the 1960s and 1970s against racism, sexism, classism, and war.

The creative period of the movement lasted for over twenty years, but most of the original works have vanished. Official cleanup of public sites erased great pieces of the heyday. They exist now only in photographs, in the artists' sketchbooks, and now in Aerosol Kingdom.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With its now-familiar presence in art galleries, advertising and pop culture around the world, it can be hard to remember that graffiti was once outlaw art. Art critic Ivor Miller takes us back to the New York City of the 1970s and '80s, where "writers," as graffiti artists called themselves, used the subways as canvases and mayors spent millions of dollars trying to erase their work. Based on interviews with the most prolific and talented aerosol artists of the era, the scholarly Aerosol Kingdom: Subway Painters of New York City looks at the evolution of graffiti art, its role in hip-hop culture and the various social forces that led to its creation from white flight to the mass marketing of spray paint. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Though much of the graffiti in New York City has been cleaned up since its heyday in the 1970s, it is still easy to see evidence of the "aerosol kingdom" throughout the city. What might not be apparent are the influences, motivations, and social conditions that stimulated the first graffiti artists (or "writers," as they call themselves) to consider the city's subways as moving steel canvases. Miller, who has published in such journals as Third Text and African Studies Review, provides a somewhat haphazard examination of various facets of the aerosol culture, including the influences of modern vernacular on imagery, the historical inspiration of the train in America and Cuba, and the history of the movement's artists and styles. The words of the graffiti artists themselves infuse this book with a gritty, often angry flavor that reflects the gulf between established art forms and aerosol art. Graffiti still shares a hazy boundary with vandalism, but several recent works (Art of Getting Over: Graffiti at the Millennium and R.I.P.: Memorial Wall Art) have also reevaluated street art in terms of its artistic and societal significance. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.-Kraig A. Binkowski, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781617036774
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Ivor L. Miller has published widely in African Studies Review, Third Text: Third World Perspectives on Contemporary Art & Culture, Callaloo, Race & Class, and LUCERO: Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies. He is also the author of Voice of the Leopard: African Secret Societies and Cuba.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)