Sunday, 27 March 2011

Abstract Graffiti

Abstract Graffiti by Cedar Lewisohn

The lovely people over at Merrell Publishing passed me a copy of their Abstract Graffiti to review. So here goes.....

This is not, as the title suggests, your typical graff book. It covers many areas of what has widely become termed as “Street Art”. This means we are treated to full on paint explosions from fire extinguishers to knitted parking meter covers!

As you would expect from this type of subject matter there are many flicks within the 175 pages. However, this book is more than just a “lets look at the pretty pictures” package. There are numerous interesting and informative interviews with some of the featured artists, as well as others who are linked to the scene. For example, there is a revealing interview between the author and Judge Hardy who sits on the crown court in Southwark, London. This give an insight into the “thinking” behind some of these ridiculous sentences that are being handed down to those convicted of graffiti. Also, the late, great, Rammellzee breaks things down as only he can, whilst System provides an in depth interview into the history of the aerosol can. For me these insights is where this book beats your average graff book.

So what about the work included within the pages of this book? Well, as you would hope and expect there is a wide variety of work from all over the globe featured. Stand outs for me are Delta's photocopied pieces cut up and pieced together over one another, Zezao, who I remember from my old Fotolog days with his two tone blue creations, and Seize's pieces which remind me of some type of futuristic monsters. Some of the other work however is totally lost on a neanderthal like me – ripping up and re-arranging paving slabs?

The book breaks the subject down into various sections and fits relevant work into each. This helps to put each artwork into some sort of context and keeps the relevant styles linked together. This tends to help as each time you look back there is another bit of info, or another flick which you didnt quite pick up on the last time you looked.

If you are looking to buy this book strictly from a graff writers point of view then you may not get what your looking for. If you are looking for something slightly different then this hould hit the spot nicely. For me, what sums this book up and the work included is captured in a quote from KR (the Krink geezer); “I've found over time that you just cant please everyone. Someone thinks that its just crap, thats its garbage. Im not trying to please everyone”.

For me this book has a lot going for it. A well put together package that should have something included within it that will appeal to most. Overall, well worth a purchase, or at the very least a sneaky read over someones shoulder.

Get it here.

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