ALONE ONE's blog –

“History Of American Graffiti” by Roger Gastman and Caleb Neelon

This book came out about a month ago. I meant to do a comprehensive review on it, but with about 400 PAGES a proper review would take months for me to write. And I don’t want to reveal too much of the book. Here’s a small preview…

First, the cover. Take off that paper one that it came with and reveal the (MUCH doper, in my opinion) vintage spraycans cover hiding under there.

Then get ready for a Graffiti History 101 on the history of over 25 cities. Just check out the Contents pages!..

Instead of starting with the expectected Cornbread and Taki 183 stories, it starts earlier with other forms of graffiti.

Of course any history book is bound to overemphasize certain people and events and omits others (REZENT! LOST!). However the Boston and New York sections are pretty accurate and no way as biased as it could have been. I’m not so knowledgeable on the other cities, but hopefully they are just as accurate.

In addition to the individual city chapters, there’s profiles on some very influential writers such as Cost, Revs, Twist, and others.

Then to top things off, they’ve even included info on spraypaint, blackbooks, tagbanging, freights, the list goes on..

I was very pleased to see the Boston chapter giving just credit to the X-men, Jayrock, Remote, and of course the much justified write up and photos of Alert (OD. KBN. 5AV) and Ryze (5AV KBN.) in the Boston chapter.

The OD crew gets their mention. I get a mention and some quote. And a photo (not one I would have chosen.. guess I should have submitted some of my own.) of an “AN” I did on the Porter MBTA tracks in 1993. Yup, the “Star Market wall”.

They also go on in the Denver section about Alert and Hel (OD KBN) relocating out there and hooking up with SWS.

Overall, this is a great book that will undoubtedly (like it or not) be used as THE first and foremost account of 20th century graffiti and will be studied for centuries to come. Grab a copy while you can still get an original first pressing.

*** Oh yeah, BIG THANKS to Caleb and Roger for hooking up me up with a copy of the book!!

“Get In To Win”
October 28, 2009, 12:22 am
Filed under: Art | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Alone1 - DC_GetInToWin“Get In To Win”
pen and marker on Washington D.C. Lottery paper

Graffiti/Street Art vs. Advertising (part 1) – Illegal Advertising

Some people look at graffiti as an “eyesore”. But many of us don’t have such a problem with advertising. Just because it is paid for by some corporation, does that justify it being there? Is somebody’s mural (or even tags) really worse than a big billboard telling you what garbage to eat, crappy fashions to wear, car to drive, etc ? Or even worse.. I remember the day I was trying to quit smoking – waiting at a bus stop with a huge Newport billboard staring down at me – torture!. And that was a LEGAL ad.

Turns out, ALOT of advertising is ILLEGAL.

Illegal Ad on the flat iron building. I love this building. Imagine coming to NY as a tourist and seeing this landmark architecture. Yeah that would be a nice picture. photo: Municipal Art Society

Wanna go to the park to escape the city for a few or maybe a picnic with the girl? photo:

Some of this advertising is more than a visual problem. Here’s scafolding, with the weight of an illegal Helio ad, crushing a few cars.  Luckily noone was injured. photos:

Many of these posters that you see on construction sites are illegal.

Rockstar Games sticker (“IV”) going over the homie  “Rate“‘s tag. photo: Corporate Vandals blog

Tats vs NY
While these corporate vandals are doing whatever they want, we have assholes like media whore Al Sharpton painting over LEGAL graffiti.
photos: NY Daily News

“Consume, dont think about expressing yourself.” …Something is definately wrong here.

A few interesting facts..

– New York City arrested 3,786 graffiti writers last year. They arrested 0 illegal advertisers.

– Vermont, Maine, Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington D.C. bans billboards.

– Buenos Aires, Argentina recently removed 40 thousand billboards (60% of their billboards) to fight “visual pollution”.

– Sao Paolo, Brazil BANNED all commercial advertising in 2007. They have also LEGALIZED Graffiti.

Graffiti/Street Art vs. Advertising (part 2) – Ron English
Graffiti/Street Art vs. Advertising (part 3) – the Graffiti Research Lab vs. Advertising
Graffiti/Street Art vs. Advertising (part 4) – Augor

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