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Top 5 street art & graffiti books of 2016

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

c01 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in-depth research and interviews with major pioneer writers such as Taki183 and Cornbread with a lot of previously unpublished photographic archive.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.

 


8697

by Boris Tellegen / Delta

Published by A Paper Book

15034715_1785472801691571_2663648574205591552_n8697 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

conor-harrington-227x300Released 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.

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Saeio 2009 – 2014

Published by Editions Peinture

saeio-2009-2014Earlier 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.

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Ericailcane 2000-2015: “Come Quando Fuori Non Piove”

Published by Z000 Press

ericailcane-2000-2015-come-quando-fuori-non-pioveEricailcane 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.

 

 

 

 



Urban Spree Books at the Unlock Book Fair

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. 



Urban Spree Books publish “Metamorphosis”

Urban Spree Books is proud to announce the release of “Metamorphosis”, the second published monograph by the Californian born, Berlin-based visual artist Tavar Zawacki – and the first under his real name.

Metamorphosis is being published to coincide with the opening of the artist’s solo show at Urban Spree Galerie, eponymously titled “Metamorphosis”, on Thursday, September 7th, 2017.

At the time of his first publication (“Passport”, released by Zero+ Publishing in 2011), the artist was going by the street name ABOVE, and was held as one of the pioneers and early influencers of the street art movement. Relocating to Berlin in 2014, the artist went into a deep and creative introspection that led him the next year to divulge his name and face, instead of the high secrecy that has always surrounded his self. He was known never to attend any of his exhibition openings and erected anonymity as a cardinal virtue, and shadows as a tool.

 

“Metamorphosis” covers Tavar Zawacki’s last 3 years of creative works, from his seminal 2014 “Remix” exhibition in Detroit at Inner State Gallery to his latest and most ambitious show to date at Urban Spree Galerie in September 2017. The book covers all his outdoor murals during that period and illustrates how the artist navigates between his indoor and outdoor works and the influences thereof.

“Metamorphosis” is a very personal account of Tavar’s creative process and thinking, where painful disruptions are essential to create something new and meaningful.

Tavar Zawacki has been showcasing his work in galleries and institutions around the world since 2005. He is a resident artist of Urban Spree in Berlin since 2 years. His solo show, “Metamorphosis”, runs from 07.09.2017 to 08.10.2017 at Urban Spree Galerie in Berlin.

The book is published by Urban Spree Books and is available on the Urban Spree website here as pre-order and in our Berlin shop from the 07.09.2017. All orders will be shipped after the 07.09.2017.

We have a few rare signed copies of the artist’s previous book “Passport” available in the shop.

www.tavarzawacki.com



(Un)Sanctioned, The Art on New York Streets: Book Signing

Brooklyn-based photographer Luna Park will be in the Urban Spree Bookshop on Saturday, August 5th to discuss and sign her latest book “(Un)sanctioned“.

The Book Signing will take place from 18:00 to 20:00.

Subtitled “The Art on New York Streets, the book is the culmination of a decade of obsessively keeping up with NYC graffiti and street art, a time period which saw a seismic shift in the public perception and acceptance of the artform.

Katherine “Luna Park” Lorimer is a graffiti and street art photographer, curator and librarian, passionate about documenting urban artforms and supportive of all creative endeavors to redefine public space. She has presented her observations on street art at the Brooklyn Museum, New York Public Library and guest lectured for the History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti course at Long Island University. Her photographs have been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

For those who can’t attend the event, you can order a signed copy on the Urban Spree website here.



Urban Spree releases an Artist Zine with Kid Cash

Kid Cash: Very Necessary. Sketches & Drawings 2015-17 is an artist zine published by Urban Spree Books on the occasion of the solo show of Kid Cash at Urban Spree Galerie (31.03.2017 – 22.04.2017).

The zine is focused on sketches and drawings and functions as a perfect companion to the exhibition as it reveals the artist’s inner paths to abstraction, how rough landscapes, lines and shapes are being abstracted and then incorporated, digested, into paintings.

 

The 60-page book is published as a Limited Edition of 300 copies in an A5 format. The zine is available at the Urban Spree Bookshop in Berlin and on our online shop here.

 



All Day Book Launch Party

11694955_10152982484428857_7575464270330926603_nTwo of Berlin’s most popular independent websites, Abandoned Berlin and Slow Travel Berlin, are joining forces on Sunday July 19th to celebrate their respective new books.“Stories From The City: A Berlin Anthology” is Slow Travel Berlin’s third publication. The large-format, full-colour volume collects almost thirty of the best articles that have appeared in Slow Travel Berlin since its inception in 2010 – all re-edited and re-designed – along with several newly commissioned pieces and exclusive photo-essays.With articles covering a wide-range of Berlin’s social and cultural life – from 18th Century salonnières to 20th century post-punks, neglected urban districts to contemporary street photography – Stories from the City captures the allure and fascination of a city that offers endless rewards to those willing to explore it.

http://www.slowtravelberlin.com/shop/stories-from-the-city/

“Verlassene Orte/Abandoned Berlin“, published by serial trespasser and Abandoned Berlin author Ciarán Fahey, is also a compilation of stories, taken from some of his own favourite abandoned spaces in and around the city.

http://www.abandonedberlin.com/2015/02/the-book-verlassene-orte-abandoned.html

The collaborative launch party will take place in the Galerie and Biergarten starting at around 2pm and ending when the last person has fallen over, the day will feature feel-good summery sounds (reggae, soul, hip hop, funk, disco) all day long from DJs Döner Summer, Zed Lepellin and guests.

The Urban Spree Summer Sessions will feature the soulful Ray Mann Three in a 3-hour outdoor gig from 16:00 to 19:00.
Add a specially designed pub quiz (with prizes!), street food, a full bar, live painting, photo exhibitions, specially discounted and signed books – and a guaranteed lack of boring speeches!* – and you have what will almost certainly be the best summer party since, well, the last great summer party you attended.