1000 Ideas for Graffiti and Street Art - murals, tags, and more from artists around the world compiled by Cristian Campos
A Unique Collection of Urban Art
Back in the day, graffiti and street art were seen as little more than a rebellious way to damage private and public property. Now, people view them as works of art; colourful and creative pieces of urban and suburban culture that paint cities around the world. Filled with 1,000 amazing photographs of graffiti and other types of urban art from more than seventy artists, these images will enlighten your artistic side and inspire coffee table conversation.
Taken from the major cities around the world, 1,000 Ideas for Graffiti and Street Art shows off a side of these cities most tourists don't think to look for. This book also showcases many different styles of graffiti and street art, including three-dimensional, colour play, caricatures, organic graffiti, and many more. You'll find more than enough to motivate any type of artist looking to add urban style to your work.
Introduction to the book by the author
Art or vandalism? If I had a dollar for every time I heard this question referred to graffiti or contemporary urban art in general, I'd be the leading Apple stockholder by now.
The witty and highly sarcastic British scientist Peter Brian Medawar once said that "the spread of secondary and latterly tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought." There is no doubt in my mind that most graffiti detractors would unquestionably use this phrase to refer to young urban artists, and they may be right. The huge spread and popularization of urban art and the ease with which any teenager in any city in the world, whatever their social or economic circumstances, can start out in the world of graffiti and leave their tags on dozens of walls at a speed similar to that of breeding rabbits, have led to a genuine avalanche of spray paint and marker extremists. It is clear that most of them have a totally self-taught ability to cover several square feet of wall with paint. However, it is also obvious that this skill often goes beyond their ability to develop analytical thought and an artistic discourse of their own that rises above straightforward vandalism or that is something more than an urban pseudo-philosophy with such a lack of sophistication that it would make a child of nine blush with shame.
This is not the case of the artists included in this book.
A number of criteria have been utilized when choosing the artists and works to be featured in these pages. The first are the most evident: quality of work, originality, the artists' skill for conveying personal and un-transferable style, etc. The second are not so obvious: Which artists are advancing the cause of urban art with their work? Which ones are breaking its barriers and associated conventions? And third, something which the old school graffiti purists will probably not like, which urban artists would keep their cool in a hypothetical face off with the totems of "official" art?
This book includes 1,000 images of works located in the world's main cities, the nerve centres of what we call graffiti. Urban art has definitively crossed its traditional boundaries (the street, spray paint, the eternal teenager, and the imposed and limiting spirit of rebellion) and it has done so for good, even becoming a feature of art galleries and the best museums of contemporary art on the planet. In fact, what is currently known as urban art includes spray painted street art, but also art installations, oil paintings, and sculpture, among others. Graffiti traditionalists must think this is a high price to pay, but this is what happens in all fields of art once they come of age.
The book is divided into three chapters, although readers initiated in the world of graffiti will know how difficult it is to classify graffiti as abstract or figurative, or to determine whether a certain piece of work was mainly done in spray paint or plastic paint. We therefore make our apologies to readers beforehand: many works on the following pages could easily appear in any of the three chapters in this book, and often the reasons for including them in one or another will appear to be as arbitrary as they are impenetrable. Once again, who would dare to bring order to such a wild and untamed artistic terrain as graffiti? Maybe the best thing would simply be to browse these pages and be taken away by the brutal explosion of colour that assails readers' eyes like no other branch or school of art has ever done before.
1st edition, 2010, paperback, 320pp, fully illustrated throughout, 23.3 x 23.4cm