We found – 15 articles for Prague

The 10 Best Street Art Books of 2018

Berlin-based specialized bookshop and gallery Urban Spree releases the list of the “10 Best Street Art Books of 2018“, a compilation of this year’s best titles. Although purely subjective, it reflects several trends playing in the book market:

 

– a renewed focus on the works of the pioneers of the 1960-70s through an academic approach;

– an increase in artist monographs which put more emphasis on their studio works;

– we have entered the era of “post-graffiti”

– but vandal graffiti and underground street art resist well the assimilation;

 

The list of the best publications of 2018 comes in no particular order.

 

1° John Divola: Vandalism

One of the most striking books of the year, “Vandalism” singles out itself by the sobriety of its approach.It consists of a black-and-white photographic series shot over 2 years in the mid-70s by the American photographer John Divola. Divola travelled across L.A. in search of vacant and dilapidated properties in which to shoot his project. Armed with a camera, spray paint, string and cardboard, the artist would produce one of his most significant photographic series, painting abstract constellations of graffiti-like marks, ritualistic configurations of string hooked to pins, torn arrangements of cardboard, and photographing it.

Vandalism” is not per se a “street art book” but rather a photobook crossing over both genres. The best example of a crossover book would be Bruce Davidson’s “Subway“, a series of portraits shot on the gritty NYC subway in the 70s where graffiti abounds but is only a sub-context, not the main topic (unlike Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant’s vernacular documentary photographic oeuvre whose main purpose is to specifically document graffiti).

 

Published by MACK Books, UK, in April 2018

Embossed paper-bound hardback

120 pages, 23.5 cm x 23.5 cm

Buy it here

 

2° Rafael Schacter: Street to Studio

“These are artists who are thus not slavishly reproducing their exterior practice within an interior realm but who are, rather, taking the essence of graffiti – its visual principles, its spatial structures, its technical methods, its entrenched ethics – and reinterpreting them with the studio domain,”writes Rafael Schacter in his introduction of his book Street to Studio.

We have entered the post-graffiti era. At a time where the graphic codes of street art are permeating most spheres of culture and entertainment, street artists have simultaneously enjoyed the favor of galleries and collectors and therefore have strongly developed their studio practice, when it was not in their ADN since the begining. What comes out is a blended space, where the artist works on both surfaces, the wall and the canvas, oscillating between different scales, the large and the intimate. Is this becoming a new paradigm in the art world?

The book introduces the concept of  ‘Intermural Art’ – art in-between the walls – to reflect that transition and has the merit of putting the emphasis on more conceptual players in the game (Brad Downey, Ian Strange, Boris Tellegen…) rather than usual suspects.

 

Published by Lund Humphries in July 2018

Edited by Rafael Schacter with a foreword by Carlo McCormick

Hardcover, 218 colour illustrations

224 Pages, 27 × 24,9 cm

Buy it here

 

3° David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake At Night

Beginning in the late 1970s, the American artist David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) created a body of work that spanned photography, painting, music, film, sculpture, writing, and activism. Largely self-taught, he came to prominence in New York in the 1980s, a period marked by creative energy, financial precariousness, and profound cultural changes. Intersecting movements—graffiti, new and no wave music, conceptual photography, performance, and neo-expressionist painting—made New York a laboratory for innovation. Wojnarowicz refused a signature style, adopting a wide variety of techniques with an attitude of radical possibility. Distrustful of inherited structures, he varied his repertoire to better infiltrate the prevailing culture.

Wojnarowicz’s work documents and illuminates a desperate period of American history: that of the AIDS crisis and culture wars of the late 1980s and early 1990s. But his rightful place is also among the raging and haunting iconoclastic voices, from Walt Whitman to William S. Burroughs, who explore American myths, their perpetuation, their repercussions, and their violence. Wojnarowicz, who was thirty-seven when he died from AIDS-related complications, wrote: “To make the private into something public is an action that has terrific ramifications.”

 

Published by Yale University Press in July 2018

Hardcover, 384 pages

160 color + 100 b/w illustrations

Buy it here

 

4° BLU: Minima Muralia

Italian street artist BLU is one of the few street artists refusing to compromise with the art market, unwilling to translate his brillant art onto canvas, staying true to the origins of the movement – an underground, non-monetized, ephemeral, illegal & outdoor art practice for which the context and the meaning are the most important elements.

While Banksy excels in subverting the codes of the art world, BLU refuses them and strikes back, erasing the murals he painted to fight their monetization (Bologna, Berlin).

Minima Muralia” presents each mural painted by the artist during the last 15 years, more than 200 walls.

 

 

Published by Zooo Press in March 2018

288 full color pages

17×24 cm, lay flat swiss binding

Buy it here

 

5° One Week With 1UP

Which brings us to the last frontier within the realm of the urban arts: graffiti. “One Week with 1UP” is the second published book by and about the legendary Berlin-based vandal graffiti crew 1UP.  This time, the Kreuzberg crew embarks NYC-based legendary documentary photographer Martha Cooper and Berlin-based photographer Ninja K. in a series of underground actions, through tunnels, rooftops, featuring high pressure fire extinguisher tags, roll-downs, roll-ups, street bombings, whole cars and backjumps in a first-hand account.

1UP is the ultimate modern graffiti crew in the 21st century: large, everywhere, powerful, fearless, defiant, invisible.

 

Self-Published, Berlin, 2018

A project by Martha Cooper, Ninja K. and 1UP

English/German, 144 pages, 31 x 22 cm

Buy it here

 

6° Klone: “Few Moments Ago I Was Here”

Klone is an Ukrianian-born, Tel-Aviv based street artist, a pioneer of graffiti in Israel and a visual artist who was the first to exhibit at Urban Spree and one of the reasons why we did the space in the first place. I stumbled upon his fist published book – “Don’t Sleep”– in 2011 and was so moved by its personal content, poetry, freedom, that I wanted to meet the man and work with him.

8 years later comes Few Moments Ago I Was Here“,  looking over those past 8 years of exhibitions, mural projects, installation, and animations.

“Few Moments Ago I Was Here” is an artist book. By this, we mean a book which is mainly thought, designed, created and published by the artist himself. We always try to get as many self-published and artist books in the bookshop because they are precious and unconventional. Of course they are difficult to source, as we can get our hands only on a small stock, they sell out fast and we need to replace them but we can’t get enough of them.

 

Self-Published, Tel Aviv, November 2018 (Hell No Publication)

Limited edition of 500 copies.

Softcover. Full colour offset print on Munken lynx paper.

Buy it here

 

7° Ian Strange: Islands 2015-2017

Continuing on the self-publication mood and echoing John Divola, the Australian artist Ian Strange  publishes “Islands 2015-2017”, a photographic monograph documenting his interventions on American suburban homes, in the wake of Gordon Matta-Clark or David Wojnarowicz.

Through photography, sculpture, research, found artefacts and drawings, “Island” reflects on the home through the metaphor of the desert island, a place of personal sovereignty but simultaneously entrapment. “Island” interplays the monumental with the intimate and intangible. Exploring the icon of the home as a deeply vulnerable object and personal vessel for memory, identity and aspiration.

 

Self-published

Limited edition of 400 hand numbered and signed books with a concertina print

25 x 34 cm

Buy it here

 

8° Jan Kalab: Point of Space

“Point of Space” is the first published monograph of the Czech graffiti and visual artist Jan Kaláb, covering 25 years of his urban and studio creations, through multiple art forms (paintings, 3D graffiti, bombings, sculptures, installations).

Jan Kaláb started as a pure graffiti writer and achieved fame under the monikers “CAKES” and “POINT”. From there, his practice evolved to murals and studio works, sculptures and canvases and this evolution, patiently documented, is fascinating to follow.

The book was edited by the artist himself with texts by the czech art critic Petr Volf.

 

 

Published by Trafacka/Trafo Gallery Prague, in November 2018

320 pages

Hard Cover, 25 cm x 32,5 cm

Texts by Petr Volf and book design by Jan Novák

Buy it here

 

9° Swet: Book of the Year

 

One of the last published books of 2018, “Book of the Year” is a comprehensive monograph encompassing 1 year of walls by the danish graffiti writer SWET.

A graffiti “tour de force”, all the walls depicted in the book were painted in 2017 and amount to over 300 wall pieces, almost one per day, all of them documented in the book, including some sketches.

The book is bound with a piece of a canvas specially painted by SWET for this project and each book has a different binding, which also highlights the precise work of the dutch artisan publishing house Chemistry Publishing.

 

 

Published in November 2018 by Chemistry Publishing

First Edition of 500

240 pages printed on Munken Crystal Rough

Cover embossed with green linen, 24 x 28,5 cm

Buy it here

 

10° Russian Urban Art: History and Conflict

Street art books are usually more about photographs and visual documentation than text. Few history books actually exist on the graffiti and street art movements, let alone about a peripheral movement such as street art in Russia.

It is therefore the merit of the Russian artist and curator Igor Ponosov to examine the power of street art in Russia by exploring its historical background, extending from the avant-garde movements of the early 20th century, to the non-conformists and the actionists of the 21st century.

 

 

Self-Published, Moscow, June 2018

Edition of 500

Hardcover, 20 x 15 cm, 96 pages, English

Buy it here

 



Urban Spree and Hura Collective present: ERBEN: VLASY

… The king remained as if the sword had stab his chest through. He didn’t sleep until morning; he wondered what and how, to so that it did not happen what he heard here …

Prague-based puppet theater and performance crew Hura Collective presents in Berlin at Urban Spree a puppet performance from the cycle of dark adaptations of the fairy tales of K.J. Erben.

K. J. Erben (1811-1870) was a Czech folklorist and writer of fantasy prose from the 19th century in the wake of the Gebrüder Grimm.

VLASY means “hair” – referenced in the performance as the three golden hair, and accounts for the first part of the story HAIR – EYES – DEATH based on the stories from K. J. Erben.

The King, who loved to chase game the woods, eventually, after a number of evil deeds, he longed to chase for the game forever. Hand of destiny, drowned Princess, revived skeleton, shadows, live sounds on the springs and bells in the tradition of family puppet theaters.

Prague-based Hura Collective, mostly through the “Echt Street Puppets” project and the leadership of Hza Bažant, is the main driving force behind the renewal of the czech millenary tradition in puppet mastery, bringing the art to a larger scale with some puppets ranging in the 4 to 5 meters range.

The theater performance is wordless, so it is suitable for all public. However due to a dark theme and supernatural elements, we advise it may not suitable for children under 8.

The premiere of the event will be launched in Prague on 01.12.2018 (http://www.jatka78.cz/cs/inscenace/erben-vlasy) and will premiere in Germany on Saturday, December 15th, 2018.

 

Hura Collective presents:

ERBEN: VLASY

Urban Spree Galerie

Revaler Str. 99

10245 Berlin

Friday 14.12. 2018 at 18:00 (estimated duration: 55 minutes)

Mit freundlicher Unterstützung des Regierenden Bürgermeisters von Berlin – Senatskanzlei – und Magistrát Hlavního Města Praha.

 

 

 

 

 



Jan Kaláb: “Point of Space” – Book Release and Signing

 

Urban Spree and Jan Kaláb invite you at Urban Spree Galerie next Saturday 24.11 at 18:00 for the Berlin release of the much-awaited first published monograph of the influential Czech post-graffiti artist Jan Kaláb.

Published in November 2018 by Prague-based Trafo Gallery on the occasion of the artist’s new solo exhibition in Prague (02.11-20.12-2018), the 320-page book – edited by the artist himself with the support of critic Petr Volf and graphic designer Jan Novák – encompasses the many different aspects of Jan Kaláb’s artistic career, from the early graffiti bombings as CAKES and POINT to his versatile works in public & indoor spaces, murals, sculptures, installations and paintings.

Signed copies will be available in our Berlin shop and online after the event. Please make your order on our webstore now to reserve a signed copy. All orders placed before 25.11.2018 will receive a signed copy.

In addition to the book signing event, Urban Spree Prints and Jan Kaláb releaseShine Around Blue 1118“, a very limited silkscreen print on Saturday 24.11.2018 at 18:00.

Edited by Urban Spree Prints and printed by Dolly Demoratti (Mother Drucker/Urban Spree Studio), the print is a 6-colour, 70 cm x 70 cm hand-pulled screen print, with vibrant colors and a hologram glitter layer.

The print is edited in a very limited run of 18 prints. 9 prints are reserved for the Berlin event while the remaining 9 prints are available to the subscribers of the Urban Spree newsletter (you can join our newsletter by signing in on the bottom of this page and by clicking on any of the sub-categories).

 

Jan Kaláb: Point of Space

Book Release and Signing

Saturday 24.11.2018 from 18:00

Urban Spree Galerie
Revaler Str. 99
10245 Berlin

 

Jan Kaláb: Point of Space

Book Release and Signing

Saturday 24.11.2018 from 18:00

Urban Spree Galerie
Revaler Str. 99
10245 Berlin



Jan Kaláb: “Point of Space” – Berlin Book Release & Signing

Urban Spree and Jan Kaláb invite you at Urban Spree Galerie next Saturday 24.11 at 18:00 for the Berlin release of the much-awaited first published monograph of the influential Czech post-graffiti artist.

Published in November 2018 by Prague-based Trafo Gallery on the occasion of the artist’s new solo exhibition in Prague (02.11-20.12-2018), the 320-page book – edited by the artist himself with the support of critic Petr Volf and designer Jan Novák – encompasses the many different aspects of Jan Kaláb’s artistic career, from the early graffiti bombings as CAKES and POINT to his versatile works in public & indoor spaces, murals, sculptures, and paintings.

Signed copies will be available in our Berlin shop and online after the event. Please make your order on our webstore now to reserve a signed copy. All orders placed before 25.11.2018 will receive a signed copy.

In addition to the book signing event, Urban Spree Prints and Jan Kaláb releaseShine Around Blue 1118“, a very limited silkscreen print on Saturday 24.11.2018 at 18:00.

Edited by Urban Spree Prints and printed by Dolly Demoratti (Mother Drucker/Urban Spree Studio), the print is a 6-colour, 70 cm x 70 cm hand-pulled screen print, with vibrant colors and a hologram glitter layer.

The print is edited in a very limited run of 18 prints. 9 prints are reserved for the Berlin event while the remaining 9 prints are available to the subscribers of the Urban Spree newsletter (you can join our newsletter by signing in on the bottom of this page and by clicking on any of the sub-categories).

 

 

 

Jan Kaláb: Point of Space

Book Release and Signing

Saturday 24.11.2018 from 18:00

Urban Spree Galerie
Revaler Str. 99
10245 Berlin



Middlemist Red & Desert Mountain Tribe

Middlemist Red (HU) is a psychedelic-rock band from Budapest, Hungary, formed in late 2012. They released their first EP, ‚As If You Could Mess This Up,‘ in November 2013.
In June 2014, the band received international attention after winning Deezer’s ‘Young Guns’ international music competition out of 182 bands from 182 different countries. Since then, Middlemist Red has played at major Central European Festivals, such as Sziget Festival (HU), Exit Festival (SRB), Rock for People (CZ), and VOLT Festival (HU) and has also shared the stage with bands like Wooden Shjips and The Black Lips. Middlemist Red’s debut album, ‚Supersonic Overdrive,‘ was released in November 2014.
The band had its first European tour in March, 2015 which took place in cities such as Berlin, Prague, Warsaw and Vilnius. Soon after the tour, they were chosen to participate in Midem Festival’s Artist Accelerator program. Later that year the band attended Hungary’s biggest music award ceremony, the ‚Fonogram,‘ where the jury selected them as the ‚Best New Act‘.
They started 2016 with various concerts at Europe’s biggest showcase festival ‚Eurosonic Noorderslag‘ in Groningen, sponsored by Rockpalast, and later that year they played at the UK’s major showcase festival ‚The Great Escape‘ and at ‚Tallinn Music Week‘.
After a busy summer they released their second album ‚Ripple Soul‘ and toured in Europe (Paradiso Amsterdam, FZW Dortmund, 8MM & Badehaus Berlin, Roxy Prague etc.)

Desert Mountain Tribe (UK) got off to a flying start with early standout track ‘Coming Down’, which was featured on Reverb Conspiracy Volume 2, a release double-headed by the equally legendary imprints Fuzz Club Records and Austin Psych Fest.

Following a debut tour of Northern Europe in the winter of 2014/15, the band quickly progressed to perform at leading festivals within the psych community like Eindhoven Psych Lab ’15 and Lisbon Psych Fest ’15.

“an astonishingly excellent debut” Big Takeover Mag, NYC “Sheer space rock bedlam.” Clash Music, UK

In 2015, Desert Mountain Tribe was invited to participate with the Converse Rubber Tracks recording project in London, where they produced a handful of cool and well-received demos that would ultimately assist in finding an album deal with Membran Entertainment Group in Europe/UK, and Metropolis Records in North America.

Debut album Either That Or The Moon was released in the spring of 2016 to a wealth of positive notices including respected platforms Drowned In Sound, Louder Than War and Classic Rock. The album picked up heavy rotation across U.S college radio and also the legendary KEXP where the band was invited to perform a live session. Recently the band has found support from BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq, Lauren Laverne and Chris Hawkins.

The band have recently completed their second European tour in support of debut album Either That Or The Moon, and is looking forward to the continued release of new material in early Spring, and will again tour Europe and the U.S in the spring of 2017.

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Opening of the “No More Crew” Show on May 18th

Urban Spree Galerie proudly presents the new body of works of 3 of the most influential contemporary urban artists, Jan Kaláb, Pasta Oner and Michal Škapa, hailing from Prague, Czech Republic.

“No More Crew” is not a crew, but 3 artist friends, whose friendship has been rooted in graffiti at an early age in the streets of Prague after the fall of the Iron Curtain and later worldwide. Cakes/Point (Jan Kaláb), Tron (Michal Škapa) and Pasta Oner are graffiti heroes and teenage friends but their artist trajectories have been maturing and, while the friendship remains strong, their styles and achievements have been separate, although in a complementary way.

Today, we are proud to present in Berlin their latest bodies of works in a 3-figurehead solo show.

With the soul of an architect, Jan Kaláb easily conquers the third dimension not only in his murals, but also in his canvases. He has grown to embrace the painter within, and although his forte is the creation of objects he has been chiseling away at geometric abstraction, discovering spaces interior and without, regardless of the clichéd expression “that’s been done.”


The same could be said of PASTA ONER. It is possible to cite the clearly visible sources of inspiration, identify the specific paraphrases. Yet one must also take into account the force and accuracy with which he mirrors the conservative Central European mindset. How spot-on is his commentary on the bad habits of consumerism, or the directness with which he tackles the large format through his short post-pop messages.

Michal Škapa, by contrast, works with the moment of replication, the multiplication of a graphic element, with a hand patently the descendant of an expert graffiti artist. His style is ornamental, rhythmic, abstract and concrete at the same time. He is the draughtsman of his canvases, the transmitter of symbols, creator of expansive mural-format comics with unsettling subject matter.

The exhibition No More Crew at Urban Spree Galerie presents a trio of disparate and yet splendidly and mutually complementary artists. Their work defies being simply the result of the overused epithet “drawing on street art”, and at the same time any confrontation with their work requires such a label. Space, place, city, symbol, sign. Something for everybody.

No More Crew

A solo group show by Jan Kaláb, Pasta Oner and Michal Škapa

Opening Reception on Thursday, May 18th at 18:30

Exhibition: May 19th to June 11th,

Tu-Su: 12:00-19:00

press enquiries: diana@urbanspree.com

gallery enquiries: galerie@urbanspree.com

instagram: @jankalab / @pastaoner / @traun834

#nomorecrew #urbanspree #urbanspreegalerie #berlinprague #michalskapa#pastaoner #jankalab

 

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