751: The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti by Rafael Schachter
751.73: Schachter, Rafael. The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti. 393 pp. ISBN 978-0-300-19942-0.
- 700: Fine Art
- 750: Painting and paintings
- 751: Painting techniques, procedures, apparatus, equipment, materials, or forms
- 751.7: Specific forms
- 751.73: Murals and frescoes
Say what you will about street art, it isn’t going anywhere. It can be galling or beautiful. It can inspire passers-by or simply blend into the scenery. The original print for the Obama Hope campaign was spawned from a piece of street art. Rafael’s World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti is a massive undertaking—an attempt to collect evidence of and write intelligently about a style of art that is meant to fade away or be seen as vandalistic or even puerile. With very few exceptions, there are no photographs of the artists in this book. Instead, the art speaks for itself alongside modest short essays detailing some small details of the artist’s life and a quick explanation of their motivations and styles.
Schachter gives street art a potency and a voice. This volume goes beyond your standard Banksy stuff and tries to catalogue a wide variety of artists, styles, locations, and media. Europe and North American artists get the bulk of the space, but there is still quite a bit of representation from other parts of the world of street art. The hope is that the reader will look around their environments more carefully and find what is meant for public consumption. Most serious street art has a message, but many times we cannot ask the artist directly for fear of exposing them to the authorities. Some of my personal favorites include the geometrics wall designs of Eltono and the absolutely stunning animal murals by Dal East. There is an entire world of street art: it is up to us to open our eyes and seek it out. A stunning and picturesque book.