Book review: Billboard Bandits

December 30th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

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Adam Clark’s Billboard Bandits: Outlaw Artists in the Sky, published this year, is 208 pages of photos, entry level information on graffiti culture (i.e. What are throw-ups, pieces, and billboard backs?), profiles and personal anecdotes in the vernacular of true writers (which includes explicit language).

The book is divided into two sections by graffiti and street art, with “Billboard bombing” representing the graffiti camp of billboard interference, which seems to be a bit looser in definition given that many of the pieces were not on the ads directly, but above, below, on the walls behind, or on the backs of billboards. The street art portion, entitled “Billboard Liberation”, is a lot more limited in coverage but profiles some street art favorites like Ron English and Billboard Liberation Front. Clark’s distinction between the two subcultures is a necessary one for this topic since the motivation behind hitting billboards is entirely different: graffiti artists use billboards as a highly-visible platforms to proliferate their names, whereas street artists tend to utilize the space to express ideas. The common thread between both is the drive to deemphasize, interfere with, or eliminate the ubiquitous power of adverts.

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The content is fit for a niche audience of LA graffiti heads, with featured West Coast writers such as AM7 Crew, Augor MSK, Bleek CBS Mayhem, Fuct AL LGF, Jeloe US BKF CF, Naut One, Pharoe LCF SOB, Pysa MSK LTS, and Silencer. For those people who would truly appreciate seeing these artists, I think the content in this book would be better published in the form of a regularly-updated blog. Works on a billboard are typically short lived, so the book can show recent and past works by artists but can’t update readers on how long the pieces lasted which is one of the interesting part of ad disruptions.

You can get a copy of Billboard Bandits here.

Photos courtesy of Art Crimes: Graffiti News and Events


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The Graffiti Box

March 11th, 2009 | By | 1 Comment »

Clever. The question is, did the owner do this, or is the box itself meant to be art as well. Oh who cares just check out this picture:

Photo by Greg Long of gama-go.com

Photo by Greg Long of gama-go.com

The text reads:

All are welcome to express themselves in the box below.

and

Painting within the above box is hereby expressly permitted and shall not be considered “graffiti” in accordance with article #23 of the San Francisco Municipal Code

Via Public Ad Campaign via Boing Boing


Category: Featured Posts, Photos | Tags: ,

The Best Tagged Door In SF

February 19th, 2009 | By | No Comments »

ESPVisuals posted photos of a few doors in San Fransisco that have been abundantly tagged, and they are all pretty cool, but I thought I’d just share my favorite one.

Tagged Door

Not only is this door completely covered in tags, but the portrait fits in perfectly with the tags. I’d love to know who painted it.

The photographer of that door, funkandjazz/Steve Rotman, just published Bay Area Graffiti, a book of his photos. I’ve just added it to my list of street art books to purchase, and though I haven’t yet read it, Steve’s photos are always impressive on flickr and I’m sure the book will but just as good.


Category: Featured Posts, Photos | Tags: ,

Week of The Tag

December 14th, 2008 | By | No Comments »

I’ve been a bit light on posts this week. Schoolwork has been piling up a bit, and I submit my university applications next week, so I’ve been working on those. I have been following the news though, and it seems like everybody is talking about tags this week.

Photo by RJ

Photo by RJ

  • Hooked has released a zine called Tags: East London, and you can probably tell what it’s about from the title. 30 pages full color photos of some of London’s best tags. Get a copy for just £3.50 including UK postage here.
  • Beautiful Crime sums up “The Great Debate” about “the merits of paste-ups, graffiti, street art, tagging and photoshopping” based on this flickr comments exchange between Mike Marcus, nolionsinengland, HowAboutNo! and redalert51.
  • Fecal Face has a Q&A with graffiti photographer Martha Cooper. Fans of ’80′s graffiti should definitely have a read. Cooper has a new book out called Tag Town: The Origins of Writing, available here.
  • There’s also been some great news in the world of character tags:
    - UK Street Art reports that The Toaster has put out a couple of fairly cheap prints over at Nelly Duff. Just £50, but they aren’t very large.
    - Hooked announces the release of new Sickboy prints from his recent Stay Free show (I wasn’t able to go, but Graffoto’s got a review)


Category: Art News | Tags: , , , ,