Here’s a selection of books about street art and graffiti you absolutely need to read.

World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti

by Rafael Schacter and John Fekner

From Steve Powers (Espo) in New York to Kid Zoom in Australia, taking in Banksy’s London, Paris as transfigured by Honet and OX, and the murals of the Brazilian twins ‘Os Gêmeos’, this geographical survey of urban art includes the latest works of some of the most interesting artists from around the world.

Since its origins on the East Coast of the United States in the late 1960s, street art has travelled throughout the world, morphing into highly ornate and vibrant new styles. This unique atlas is the first truly geographical survey of urban art. Featuring specially commissioned works from major graffiti and street art practitioners, it offers you an insider’s view of the urban landscape as the artists themselves experience it.

Organised geographically, by continent and by city – from New York, Los Angeles and Montreal in North America, through Mexico City and Buenos Aires in Latin America, to London, Berlin and Madrid in Europe, as well as Sydney and Tokyo in the Pacific – it profiles more than 100 of today’s most important artists and features over 700 astonishing artworks.


Street Art (Lonely Planet)

by Lonely Planet and Ed Bartlett

An insider’s guide to discovering the world’s best urban art. From amazing wall murals to Banksy’s stencils and Invader’s mosaics.

This visual guide to the world of street art takes in the scene in over 40 cities and includes interviews with some of the most prolific and well-known street artists, including Blek le Rat, FAILE and Faith47. And with hundreds of locations plotted and a special focus on 15 of the world’s most incredible street art festivals, this guide will help you discover artworks hidden in plain sight around the world.


Street Art: 20 Famous Artists Talk about Their Vision

by Alessandra Mattanza

Art has moved from the museum into the streets, with visionary artists using their creativity to convert the spaces of everyday life and, often, to address social and political issues. Journalist Alessandra Mattanza interviews 20 of the most renowned figures in the street-art scene, from painters to sculptors to stencilists, who reveal their stories and their inspiration. The international roster includes: Aryz, from Barcelona, who creates elaborate murals on buildings and trucks; Sao Paulo graffiti artist Nunca (Francisco Rodrigues da Silva); Shepard Fairey, renowned for his poster of President Obama; EVOL, from Berlin, who specializes in producing miniature buildings and installations; Fauxreel, whose photography-based work explores themes of homelessness; and Swoon, who combines art with social action. Chris Versteeg, an expert in graphic design, provides a detailed historical introduction to this popular form of contemporary art.


Street Art: An Illustrated Anthology

by Magda Danysz

What is behind the tidal wave of street art that is sweeping through the cultural scene today? What are its artistic features, its codes, and its language? How has its production, which was originally exclusively centred in the urban space, invaded galleries, bringing with it real popularity for some artists? These are some of the questions that Magda Danysz, a gallery owner and recognized expert on street art, answers with an easily comprehensible and entertaining style in this unique, richly illustrated anthology. This volume retraces the history of the genre from its beginnings in the mid-1970s to the current issues that surround it today. This historical journey is dotted with portraits of the big international names from the field and dives deep into one of the major currents of contemporary art.


New Street Art

by Claude Crommelin

Street art is part of every cityscape. It is, however, ephemeral and the work can disappear very quickly or be damaged by the elements or vandalism. Through his website, Claude has documented thousands of works by artists active in the city.

Banksy has already become a household name and the success of his movie Exit Through the Giftshop has raised the profile of street art even further. On a state visit, Prime Minister David Cameron gave President Obama a painting by street artist Eine. The street art scene in London is one of the most vibrant in the world attracting not only local artists, but also artists from other countries. Street art galleries are popping up everywhere and attracting lots of visitors. Guided street art walks are appearing in major cities in the UK, the US and other countries.

This book will cover over 150 artists and include around 275 photos. While including some of the more established street artists such as Eine, Invader, Banksy, Roa, David Walker and Swoon, the author also includes some of the new generation of street artists like Stik, Public Spirit, Xylo, Elbow Toe, Ludo, T. Wat among others who create wonderful quirky pieces that deserve a wider audience. A must have for anyone interested in street art, urban street culture or contemporary art.


Street Art Today: The 50 Most Influential Street Artists Today

by Björn Van Poucke and Elise Luong

Street Art Today offers a topical and contemporary overview of the most influential street artists and their work. The authors compiled this who’s who of contemporary street art in collaboration with a range of artists. They take a close look at names such as Alexis Diaz, Ella & Pitr, JR, Faith47, Mobstr and SpY. Exclusive interviews, illuminating essays and a foreword by Martyn Reed make this book a must-read for anyone, experts or amateurs, interested in this increasingly popular art scene. ‘Street Art Today is a taste of things past, a showcase of things present and a hint of things to come.


Street Art (Art Essentials)

by Simon Armstrong

Street Art is a phenomenon and subcultural movement that reaches from the darkest urban backstreets to the most glamorous international art fairs. Simon Armstrong examines how it evolved from its origins in the 1970s New York graffiti scene to embrace many new materials, styles and techniques along the way, tracing how this marginal art form graduated into art galleries and the art market, while also heavily influencing design, fashion, advertising and visual culture.

Despite having earned a place in the canon of 20th-century art history, Street Art’s qualifications are often disputed both by the art establishment and practitioners themselves, all concerned with notions of authenticity. Examining Street Art’s controversial history in detail, this book provides a full-colour worldwide journey, taking in all of the movement’s significant artists and artworks, styles, materials and methods, and showcasing the works that have come to define it more than any other. It also examines its close relationship to Pop Art and Digital Art, and explores possible futures for Street Art.


Colossus. Street Art Europe

by Julio Ashitaka

Colossus is the definitive showcase of epic European street art. From Berlin to Barcelona, Budapest to Lisbon it’s a visual guide to both the astonishing and the epic. From figurative to abstract, geometric to photo-realistic, all of the major creative executions are covered in the expansive collection. This book is the culmination of years of obsessively keeping up with the explosion of the art form. Featuring QR codes for many of the major European cities, you too will be able to visit the artwork in person.


Icons of Street Art: Big Murals

by Michael Harker and Suzanne Baumler

Big murals – giant works of art covering entire house façades, often with a political message. In his book Icons of Street Art, photographer Michael Harker demonstrates the special power and meaning of this kind of street art with photos taken in Berlin, Lisbon, Paris and New York City. His large-format pictures present the work of various artists, with one focus on the works of Bordalo II. With his Trash Animals, the Portuguese artist draws attention to the subject of environmental pollution. His unique mix of upcycled sculptures and spray graffiti is in great demand at art fairs worldwide.


Graffiti World Updated Edition: Street Art from Five Continents

by Nicholas Ganz

Graffiti World, now updated, is the most comprehensive and bestselling survey of graffiti art ever published. The original collection of more than 2,000 illustrations by over 150 artists around the world is joined by a new section devoted to work created in the five years since the book’s first edition.

Graffiti has long been a ubiquitous aspect of the urban landscape, since anonymous, largely unsung spray-can art first hit city walls in New York and Philadelphia in the late 1960s. 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.

Today’s 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 guaranteed graffiti’s long-lasting influence on art, graphic design, and style around the world.

 

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