zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Street Art and the War on Terror


via Just Seeds: Blog by Bec Young on 10/20/09

street_art_book.jpgEleanor Mathieson, editor, text by Xavier A. Tápies
Street Art and the War on Terror: How the World's Best Graffiti Artists Said No to the Iraq War
Rebellion Books, 2007

I found this hardcover book in the Carnegie Library. I appreciate this documentation of street art, which includes color photos of art from the streets taken between 2003 and 2007 from many parts of the world. I thought it very useful that each piece is listed with the location, media, exact date the photo was taken, and the artists' name. There is also a short paragraph of text about each street art piece, which is clearly written for an English audience with its overuse of the word "brilliant" and other British slang, and which is pretty much unnecessary, but sometimes funny. There are a lot of great images in here, although I thought it a bit cheeky to include the word "Best" in the subtitle, because there is also a lot missing, and for the most part the book contains random street shots of unknown origin. There are disproportional number of works by Shepard Fairey and Dolk documented, even a Shepard Fairey piece that's been hit by the splasher! I was also dismayed to see that no great care was taken to record the artists names. In more than one entry, the artists' name is written right on the piece, or even included in the text, but still listed as "Unknown." "Oil Soldier" by Nicolas Lampert is included in the book, but his name is spelled wrong. I would have liked to know more of the process of compiling the photos of the book, but the forward only includes a summary of the political events leading up to the war. By the end of the book I was wondering what the point of the book was, at which point I found in small font in the Credits section: "The aim of this book is to produce a permanent record of the global anti-war street art movement." I believe it does that, although linking the book to a online, digital collection project would allow it to be a lot more inclusive. Currently, the website listed on the book doesn't lead to anything.


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