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Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents [Hardcover]

Nicholas Ganz
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Graffiti World Updated Edition: Street Art from Five Continents Graffiti World Updated Edition: Street Art from Five Continents 4.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

Oct. 26 2004
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.

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From 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Hardcover
First of all this book is large which make for large images where details can easily be looked upon. Whereas some graffiti magazines or books can be a bit dull by depicting only basic stuff, this book features a very large collection of artists from all around the world, each with numerous examples of their work. It makes for a huge reference of various graphic styles, writing styles, illustration styles. Each artist is presented with a short contextual description which helps understanding where they all come from and how to better read their work.
And last but not least, Graffiti World is well made (goodgraffiti paper, good biding, good layout) and sold at a good price.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  59 reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best global outlook of Urban Art April 23 2006
By Manny Hernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Nicholas Ganz has done a great job at traveling the world to capture in this book the state of street art everywhere. Taking the reader through it by continents (Americas, Europe, Rest of the World), the book takes you on an in-depth, visually-loaded trip that highlights the work of the best street artists around these days.

If you are looking for an in-depth look at the origins of this genre, you won't find much of that in "Graffiti World". However, if you want to compare street art between, say, Denmark and Sidney, or see how the New York style has had an indelible influence in places like Brazil or South Africa, this book will delight you as you learn all about it. Five stars job!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Extensive Survey of the Art of Graffiti Nov. 22 2005
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
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, November 05
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ohhh.... but I like those slate grey concrete walls April 4 2007
By L. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
To the previous reviewer:

Quote "It just goes to show how brainwashed everybody is into thinking this act of vandalism is an artform"

Of course you are entitled to your opinion, however the sad thing is that you are actually the one who is brainwashed. I guess it is not your fault that years of conditioning have created a closed mind that is unable to appreciate art in forms other than a nice little square canvas hanging on your living room wall.
Try to remove those blinkers once in a while you may be surprised.

peace

OK, as for the book itself.....
Pros: It covers a good spectrum of street art from many countries and is loaded with thousands of photos, making it a great coffee table book. When you open the book and flick through a few of the glossy pages the quality is obvious you really feel like you got your moneys worth.
Pretty good mix of moonlight pieces and the legal stuff.

Cons: The text is pretty minimal and offers only a brief intro to the artists, but I guess most people will be buying this book for the pictures anyway.
I also thought it could have included some larger format pictures considering the page size, pretty minor complaint tho.

Most people will find it a nice gentle intro in to the world of graf art, others a useful reference.
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the SprayCan Sept. 5 2005
By TorridlyBoredShopper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I couldn't believe the reviews I read about said book and the book itself were the same work because, quite simply, I was stunned by the sheer amount of time/ talent that went into some of the displayed pieces herein. When I thing "graffiti" I used to think kids on the corner trying to make blocky letters to say "this is my world," but books like this one have totally redefined the perception I harbor therein.

Totally.

Photo-realism, the evolution of stencils and the proclamations of people with messages and skill; it sleeps in picture after picture until the reader finds themself thinking on thing.

Amazing.

American Crews, European showings, "the rest of the world; there seems to be a universal song being sung in cans of paint and it sleeps in the 2000 + pictures here made by so many. 3A Crew, Binho, Dzine, Herbert, Siloette, Stayhigh, 123 Klan, blade, blef, Cheba, Dut, Jazi, KTo; each artist gets at least a page layout and there are oceans of names involved here.

Check it out if you want to lose hours in observing something different and if you want that the stereotypical spraycan.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the best book on urban art Dec 5 2006
By Eric - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Being an artist myself I found this book to be very "different" from all of the other books out there; say Subway Art which is the from the old school artist like SEEN, BLADE, STAY HIGH 149, LADY PINK, SMITH, and the list goes on.

In this book, you get style's from all over the world; Europe, Asia, North America, Africa (though South Africa is the ONLY country on the continent that has a graffiti scene), and the list goes on. In this book you get different styles from all types of artist's like DAIM (who's beautiful 3D pieces are just AMAZING and very realistic), ROSY (from Switzerland), GREAT, BATES, MISS VAN, and the list can go on through Europe (there are just too many to name in Europe).

This book is just simply AMAZING because the pieces in this book are just amazing, and the styles are mind-blowing. So if you are interesting in getting into graffiti, I suggest you study the books like The Art Of Getting Over: Graffiti At the Millenium (which has the history of the urban art form), this book is definitely for more advanced arists like myself who can definitely use this as a stepping stone. Check it out.
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