Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents

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Ever since anonymous spray-can art began appearing on city walls in New York and Philadelphia in the late 1960s, graffiti has been a ubiquitous presence in the urban landscape, its artists largely unsung heroes. As hip-hop culture spread from America, graffiti became a worldwide phenomenon, emerging in the 1980s as the symbolic artistic language of young people everywhere and one of the most potent influences on youth-oriented marketing and design. With more than 2,000 illustrations by over 150 artists from all ...
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Overview

Ever since anonymous spray-can art began appearing on city walls in New York and Philadelphia in the late 1960s, graffiti has been a ubiquitous presence in the urban landscape, its artists largely unsung heroes. As hip-hop culture spread from America, graffiti became a worldwide phenomenon, emerging in the 1980s as the symbolic artistic language of young people everywhere and one of the most potent influences on youth-oriented marketing and design. With more than 2,000 illustrations by over 150 artists from all over the world and interviews with many of them, this visually arresting book is the most comprehensive survey of graffiti art ever published.

Today's young graffiti artists incorporate a variety of mediums-including stickers, stencils, oils, acrylics, and oil-based chalk-as well as an ever-expanding range of social commentary. This evolution in style and subject matter has earned graffiti the respect of the art world and guaranteed its long-lasting influence on art, graphic design, and style around the world. Great fun for graffiti and pop-culture buffs, the book is also an essential reference work for anyone involved in the visual arts today.

Author Bio: Nicholas Ganz (also known as Keinom, his pen name) is a graffiti artist who has traveled around the world to gather material for this book. He lives in Essen, Germany. Tristan Manco is a graphic artist and director of Bristol-based Tijuana Design. He is the author of Stencil Graffiti and Street Logos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Following the unrelated project Autograf: New York City's Graffiti Writers (powerHouse), which also took an auteur-based approach this past season, Granz (whose pen name is Keinom) widens the scope to present those he sees as the world's top graffiti writers, offering alphabetical sections of artists from the Americas, Europe and "The Rest of the World." Short prefatory histories put New York at the center of the modern graffiti world, with South American countries like Brazil later having "reached a high standard." The work is beautifully photographed throughout; multiple pieces by each artist are laid out appealingly over verso-recto spreads, along with a paragraph by Granz detailing the artist's origins and the main thrust of the work (and occasionally a photo of the artist him or herself). From gigantic murals to tiny stickers, Granz has seen and photographed it all and talks knowledgeably about everything from "wildstyle" fontage to the non-orthographically based "character culture," where artists create (and replicate) cartoonish figures in various figurative exploits. Striking a colloquial balance between insider's knowledge and thoughtful presentation, Granz's book should be durable for its cohesion of vision, if not for the scale of presentation of each artist. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-This book is packed with full-color photographs representative of graffiti styles and artists from around the world. Though there is still a level of lawlessness involved in some who practice in the traditional way, many of the murals shown are commissioned works of "urban art." The frequent use of nicknames and disguised photos shows that often these artists are still "underground" even as their art form becomes more recognized. The encyclopedic arrangement, first by continent and then by artist's nom de plume, serves the book well. Each continent also gets a foldout that demonstrates the best local artwork. Most of the textual information about the artists and their work is contained in a back "information" section, keeping the focus of the book on the art. This beautifully designed volume is respectful and knowledgeable about its oft-misunderstood subject matter. Budding artists everywhere will be thrilled to see the level of expertise that can be achieved in the graffiti format.-Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810949799
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 9.12 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007

    Excellent history w/ great art

    The book has a great out look on some of the best writers out there, not to mention full of street art.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2005

    The Most Extensive Survey of the Art of Graffiti

    Nicholas Ganz has researched the topic of Street Art known in some circles as Graffiti and in this comprehensive book has gathered images not only from the United States but from five continents, images identified by artist with a brief biography accompanied by panorama shots of the larger scale works coupled with details. The result is a complex, lavishly illustrated survey of the art form of the streets and the people who create it. Graffiti is still a controversial subject. The one form of graffiti which simply marks gang areas or swiftly splays across windows and freeway overhangs and covers billboards is not the issue here. Yes, there is a destructive force to some forms of defacement known as tagging. But that is not the subject of this book. Not unlike the fine little Indie film 'The Graffiti Artist' by James Bolton, this book follows the art forms developed by various artists which are more like the murals of yesteryear that are now hallowed as masterpieces. Think Orozco, WPA, etc. Ganz writes well and his commentary, while mostly descriptive, does delve into some of the philosophical elements of Graffiti Art. Perhaps to those who view any art from a spray can as defacement and the work of hoodlums, this book will open the mind to a popular art of the street. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: perhaps that eye will benefit from this well-designed, well-written, and well-documented survey of international graffiti art. Grady Harp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2006

    the best graffiti book ever

    OK let's start. 1st i think this book is outstanding is because it delivers almost 400 graffiti artist's in it that offer many types of style from wildstyle, marshmallow, blow ups,murals, wheat-paste, stencils, and characters of all shapes and sizes. 2nd i loved this book because it proves graffiti art is a new revolution sweeping from country to country. Soon the writters are gonna be taggin on the moon. 3rd and last but not least that i loved this book is that any one artist (graffiti, or any) can go and just bomb a whole transit line or just a wall in the city from what they seen in this book just jokin that would be byting. Be 4 signin off yall. peace! CMS ya heard!!! OH! one more thing this is what graffiti art stands for:Graffiti G graffing R reasons A and F forms F from I intrest T tagging I into Art A all R reason T tagging. Good one huh?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2005

    great book

    i think that this is one of the best book on peicing that is out there right now,i like that it goes over some of the biggest crews that are on the set all over the world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2005

    WORLD-WIDE GRAFFITI

    As you can tell, the book looks preety thick. It has graff from all over the globe.The only thing I didn't like about it is that the author throws in some stencil graffiti or some wall design company with graffiti based images in there. In my opinion ,he also missed out on some of the best graffiti bombers in the game right now. I think his approach was to display it more as an art form...but missed out on the tagging,throw-up and bombing aspect of graffiti.Over all the book is a must have for anybody thats interested in graffiti.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2005

    'From Catacombs to All Continents.'

    The book contains full color pictures and spreads from the Oldschool as well as the Newschool. The appreciation in this 'world wide wall art' still dubbed 'graffiti' today is now seen in it's multitude of styles and influences from artists, novices and 24-7 er's who still take risk in getting their name up.. If you want to see the 'reinvented and the reinvigorated art' which was once labeled the 'eyesore of the 70's' revisit the pages of this encyclopedia of the who's-who's of wicked styles!

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