If you, along with many other people, have been bitten by the street art bug, then you probably enjoy the historical insight into the contemporary movement just as much as you enjoy the aesthetic aspect of the artworks. Like with any artistic phenomenon, it is important to lurk in the shadows of its details in order to truly appreciate the bigger picture. In this case, you have laid your eyes upon the right article.
Without further ado, let us introduce you to five of the best books on street art if you want to move away from its mainstream representation and discover the less known, but nonetheless fascinating facets of the culture.
Wall Writers: Graffiti In Its Innocence
If understanding the deeper social context behind graffiti art’s propulsion into mainstream society is what peaks your interest, then Wall Writers is the book for you. Exploring the sociopolitical turmoil of the 60’s and 70’s, the book provides a detailed account of how graffiti became a movement of rebellion and revolution in itself. One of the most extensive works on the topic, Wall Writers is both visually compelling and a captivating read.
Lost Walls: eL Seed
An inspiring cultural journey across his native Tunisia, calligraffiti artist eL Seed travels across the country to paint over long-forgotten walls. Lost Walls is a month-long project, which resulted in 24 painted walls; but more than that, it is also a unique insight into the lives and history of the Tunisian people.
JR: Can Art
It’s called Can Art, not Cannot Art for a reason. An in-depth illustrative work on Parisian “photograffer” JR, Can Art is a journey through the artist’s career, and includes details on his solo work and big collaborative projects with other artists and institutions. Created in close collaboration with JR, this book also includes previously unpublished behind-the-scenes documentation of his studios in Paris and New York, where he and his creative collaborators created some of the world’s most provocative large-scale public photography projects.
Sticker City: Paper Graffiti Art
This account of the relatively young graffiti art movement takes an exciting new angle on the phenomenon. Claudia Walde, aka graffiti artist Mad C, traveled to different corners of the world in order to meet the artists who took street art and transformed it into stickers, which now adorn cities’ surfaces. Sticker City features over 80 international artists and a striking photographic account of their artworks.
Street Renegades: New Underground Art
If Sticker City caught your attention, make sure to read this logical continuation of street art’s evolution. Francesca Gavin, the Street Renegades’ author, provides her readers with insight into the latest generation of street art. Frustrated by the corporate hijacking of their culture, have diversified their techniques, with different means of dissemination, different materials, different ways of getting their work noticed. This book documents the new graffiti forms with photographs of the work and interviews with major players around the world.