Love it or loathe it, graffiti plays a prominent role in the culture and consciousness of cities. The traditional letter-based writing that appeared on the streets of Philadelphia and New York over forty years ago has evolved into two distinct disciplines. While both thrive illegally and challenge the concept of public space, the new wave of street art puts greater emphasis on figures, abstraction, symbols and formal techniques.
This incisive and highly readable survey traces the evolution of graffiti and street art and explores the motivations and practices of the leading exponents. Terms and language are examined in detail – from tags and throwies to culture jamming and ?subvertising – along with their many influences and genres.
Uniquely, Graffiti and Street Art analyses not just the work, but the functions of graffiti and street art and their increasingly important role in urban visual culture. The picture that emerges is a rich celebration of two of the defining art movements of the twenty-first century.