Sunday, January 17, 2010

"graffiti NEW YORK" by Eric Felisbret

I have never really understood graffiti. Having been born when graffiti was considered vandalism and a crime it has been hard for me to see it as a legitimate, albeit often interesting, form of art.

TV has also done a good job of painting graffiti (excuse the pun) as the expression of urban gang turf wars. Reading this book has taken me beyond that shallow perception.

In "graffiti NEW YORK" the author introduces us to the artists and their motivations for creating these modern urban murals. He has also observed and participated in the Graffiti movement for over 30 years. He is recognized as an authority on the form and context of the art.

Loaded with page after page of New Yorks best Graffiti, Mr. Felisbret, formerly of the DEAL and CIA graffiti groups, offers insight into the whys, hows and meanings of the various forms that adorn everything from subway cars to the sides of buildings and even bridges.

What statements are these artists trying to make? Are they really artists? And how do the police view these off beat modern troubadours of urban art? The book is informative and filled with the colors of urban living. And though I generally don't like it, I will never look at graffiti in the same benign way again.

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