Dokument Press, Box 773, 12002 Årsta, Sweden, www.dokument.org
The worst about scribbling on walls is when there is no message, if there is a message it makes sense and if it is a good message that is also either a great idea or a artistic gem – then it is awesome. So is this book, finally a book that concentrates on street artists who work with text. Forword by James Prigoff, followed by a preface from the author plus a historic overview on the background (humans write on walls since over 30.000 years) of public messages. Excellent. You find on over 140 pages, seperated in three main chapters ‚Street Messages‘, Political Messages‘ and ‚Street Poems‘, streetart by over 80 artists from around the world (including countrys like Lebanon, Argentinia, Iran, Israel, South Africa and Yemen).
In the end there is more info on the artists, websites and further reading. Each artist is introduced with a short text and several photos of the art displayed. Perfekt. Not too much, just enough. Great projects like „The Bubble Project“ (blank speech-bubbles, pasted on advertising) , „Before I Die“ (bywalkers can finnish the sentence ‚Before I die I want to ________“ or Sklo from Singapore who puts up stickers on traffic lights. Not missing is the fantastic Billboard Liberation Front (founded in 1977, improving billboards) or Freewayblogger (reach up to 200.000 people a day putting up just one sign over a freeway) and even the, in Germany, well know „Stolpersteine“ project. There is so much more to be found in this book, some of the artists deserve (or have) their own book, but this is a very good start. For me personally the last chapter was not so appealing, but since there is nothing to complain about the first two, it is all good. Well, I’m sure the author and the publisher know this, but unfortunally the book is a bit small (18,5 x 1,8 x 21,5 cm) and in this case a coffeetable size book would have been the right size choice (considering what other shitty books use the big size), this book woud have defintily deserved to be blown up a bit, since the streetart shown on the photos is mainly great stuff. Therefore it is not expensive (18,95 Euro) and is a quality hardcover book. Well done, highly recommended – cant wait for the next one. Now go and get it, get inspired and go out or read more. (dolf)
[Trust # 175 December 2015]