Urban Spree Books will be present at the first Unlock Book Fair in Berlin next weekend with 8 of our self-published titles, as well as a small selection of graffiti and street art zines and books.
Among our titles, we’ll introduce our latest artist book, “Metamorphosis“, released last week.
Unlock Book Fair 2017 will take place at ExRotaprint in Wedding on September 16th and 17th, 2017.
The Fair focuses on the thriving field of graffiti and street art publishing. After a successful first edition in Barcelona last year, the fair moves to Berlin with a special focus on North American railroad cultures: moniker graffiti, hobo culture, train hopping and freight train graffiti.
A week after the Unlock Book Fair, Urban Spree Books will participate on September 23rd and 24th to Friends with Books among 160 book publishers. The book fair is held at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin.
Friends With Books is Europe’s premier event for contemporary artists’ books and periodicals by artists and art publishers. Featuring 160+ international participants and a series of public programmes: discussions, readings, presentations, performances, and art installations that explore the perimeters of today’s art publishing. Admission is free.
2016 saw a number of excellent book releases related to street art and graffiti in an ever expanding universe of specialized publications. Berlin-based gallery and bookshop Urban Spree chose 5 outstanding books published in 2016.
Wall Writers – Graffiti in Its Innocence
Edited by Roger Gastman
Published by Gingko Press
Wall Writers fills an important gap in the segment of the historical approach to graffiti as it seeks to document the very origins of modern graffiti and wall writing at the source – New York City and Philadelphia in the late 1960s – and features in-depth research and interviews with major pioneer writers such as Taki183 and Cornbread with a lot of previously unpublished photographic archive.
Wall Writers explores graffiti’s foray into mainstream society in a period of social turmoil and tries to replace it in the culture of the time and up to its current status of a greater acceptance by the society as a popular art form. Alongside the 2012-published “bible” curated by Andrea Caputto “All City Writers“, Wall Writers is a reference book and research on the topic of the origins of the movement.
Wall Writers is also a documentary film written by Chris Pape and directed by Roger Gastman, released in 2016.
by Boris Tellegen / Delta
Published by A Paper Book
8697 by the dutch writer & artist Boris Tellegen a.k.a. Delta is a comprehensive time-travel journey encompassing 11 years of black book production. The black books are sketchbooks where a writer sketches, pastes photographs of his pieces, polishes his style and makes research for future pieces. Those notebooks, oscillating between training and memorabilia, are rarely seen by the public and are however an essential part of the writer’s style evolution.
Boris Tellegen started graffiti in 1984 at 14 in Amsterdam and caught the virus while visiting the USA with his father and discovered Seen, Quik, Blade… and later Bando in Paris.
“Between 1986 and 1997, I kept a black book. It was an A4-sized book with a hard cover in which I made sketches and pasted photos of my own grati work. Particularly in the early years, I had the book with me wherever I went. The black book allowed me to show other writers what I’d done. Not everything made it into the book, only the work I was proud of. Gradually, the function of the book changed from portfolio to personal logbook. The black book stayed at home more and more often and I began pasting all kinds of stu in it. However, instead of using suitable glues to paste the photos and sketches, I used poor quality glue such as rubber cement, blue 3M photo mount and adhesive tape. My first book, a Daler, had paper of reasonable quality. When this was full in 1992 I bought another sketchbook. The paper of this one was of very poor quality and yellowed very quickly. Gradually the books began to fall apart. With this publication I intend to give my black books a longer life. For that reason, I have not made a selection of my work, but instead every page from both black books is photographed and accompanied by annotations in the back.”
The book is a luxury object with a thick leather cover and biographical notes where the artist traces the origins of his graffiti style as well as moments and cities which were critical to his formative years.
Conor Harrington: Watch Your Palace Fall
Published by Heni Publishing
Released by a british art publisher usually specialized in Francis Bacon or Gerhard Richter’s monographs and catalogues raisonnés, Watch Your Palace Fall is a well-deserved achievement for the London-based Irish street artist and painter, whose original graffiti practice evolved to street art and wall painting to a work more focused on studio paintings, influenced by the movement and gesture of graffiti, classical painting from the Siècle d’Or and modern english painting.
The monograph is organized between outdoor works and indoor pieces and is a comprehensive and high-quality book retracing Conor Harrington’s career to date, and is a good example of a successful trajectory from street art to contemporary art circles.
Saeio 2009 – 2014
Published by Editions Peinture
Earlier in the year, French independent publishing house Editions Peinture published the first monograph of the French post-graffiti artist Saeio.
Spanning 5 years of street works from the member of the Parisian PAL Crew, the books distinguishes itself by an elegant and sober layout (rightfully inspired by the seminal CAP Crew book of 2007), and the originality of the paintings. Saeio’s graffiti style and paintings are redefining the practice of wall painting, tagging, and the way public spaces are utilized.
Saeio is blurring the lines of graffiti, deconstructing patterns, and fostering a modern and innovative approach of the genre.
Ericailcane 2000-2015: “Come Quando Fuori Non Piove”
Published by Z000 Press
Ericailcane 2000-2015 is the first anthology of all the wall paintings by Ericailcane.
Ericailcane is an Italian street artist and painter versed in anthropomorphic, poetic and fairytale wall painting style. Often associated with Blu, Ericailcane brings a sense of wonderment to street painting and the book is an artistic tour de force that follows 15 years of activity with over 250 murals in more than 20 countries.
From April 22nd to April 24th 2016, Urban Spree Galerie will participate to the first Urban Art Fair in Paris alongside a roster of 30 international urban arts galleries.
The artists of the gallery have a strong street practice, and are (with a few exceptions) living and working in Berlin, a city celebrated for its artistic cosmopolitism and strong urban arts DNA.
The artists presented by the gallery for the Urban Art Fair represent a new generation of street artists, whose imaginary is often rooted in comics, video games and remix culture (Mafia_Tabak), who deconstruct graffiti towards abstraction (Kid Cash, Mik Shida, Michal Škapa), who create whole imaginary cityscapes (Hendrik Czakainski), paint delicate huge murals (Twoone) or build tiny elements (Joshua Smith) but also well-known pioneers such as ABOVE.
In addition to his masterpiece “120.630” – exhibited for the first time in Paris – Hendrik Czakainski will also exhibit a sculpture in the public area of Le Carreau du Temple.
We cordially invite you to visit the Urban Spree booth at the Urban Art Fair.
From the 22nd to the 24th of April 2016 / 11am – 8pm
CARREAU DU TEMPLE / 4, Rue Eugène Spuller, 75003 Paris
In 2007, the Berlin-based artist duo Various & Gould launched the Identikit series, a reflection on multiple identities, through a choice of faces & words composing endless variations and contradictions.
10 years later, the duo is invited by the Leipzig Book Fair 2018 to introduce an updated version of the series, focused on Europe and its numerous crises and issues.
This project discusses the topic of immigration, identities and clichés. Identities are highly complex and always diverse whereas clichés are the embodiment of simplification.
To visualize this issue, Various & Gould have chosen a technique known from children’s books. Portraits of prominent personages and words are horizontally cut into strips enabling to rearrange them in endless variations. There are numerous different options – some make sense, some do not, but most invoke images confronting the viewer with own stereotypes and clichés.
The duo has developed a digital version, where users can compose their own motives and then publish online. So far, the version uses only german words but an english version should be available soon.
Urban Spree proudly presents “Rare Shots on Planet X – The Disturbanity Book” – an exuberant solo exhibition and book presentation by german artist Matthias Gephart.
The Berlin-based artist, whose spectrum ranges from graffiti and typography to collage, illustration and photography, combines this variety of disciplines in a virtuoso manner. The continous fusion of art and life is programmatic here in the graphic melting pot named Disturbanity.
“The monograph retraces punk and graffiti and their mutual impact as significant inspirations which extends the artist’s personal story to an assemblage of alternative and attitude, of urban subculture and DIY.” (Annika Hirsekorn, Neurotitan Galerie)
Matthias Gephart’s monograph “Rare Shots on Planet X – The Disturbanity Book” is a journey through 25 years of visual creation. The show will present its content to the Berlin audience for the first time on a large-scale level. Self-financed via crowdfunding, released by publishing house Kettler at the Frankfurt book fair in 2015 and awarded by New Yorks art and design magazine Creative Quarterly, the limited edition book is available at Urban Spree and will be signed for you by the artist at the vernissage evening.
“In a positive way: Overkill!” (Andreas Löhr, Fliehende Stürme)