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Street Art World

Alison Young



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Reaktion Books
01 October 2016
Art & Architecture; Graffiti & street art
Street art and graffiti are a familiar sight in cities around the world. Neighbourhoods painted with murals are popular with tourists and tagged walls become backdrops for fashion shoots and music videos. Banksy is a global celebrity whose work sells for astonishing prices. Millions of photographs of street art are saved on smartphones, uploaded to social media and displayed on t-shirts and other merchandise.

But are street art and graffiti the same thing, or do they have different histories, meanings and practitioners? Who makes street art? Who buys it? Can it be exhibited in a gallery or must it be located on the street? Why have museums started collecting street art? Is there a commercial market for street art? And will it even exist in the future?

This strikingly illustrated book explores every aspect of street art, from making and photographing, to stealing and selling it. Artists working in the streets reveal both their passion for street art and ambivalence about its commodification. The rise, fall and rise again of street art in the art market is told through revealing encounters with collectors and auction houses in Paris, London and Melbourne.

Based on twenty years of research in the graffiti and street art scenes, Street Art World is the first book to provide a history and context for the words and images that appear in cities all around the world. Inviting the reader into a realm that is usually hidden, it will enthral all those who enjoy this global phenomenon.
By:   Alison Young
Imprint:   Reaktion Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 250mm,  Width: 190mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   680g
ISBN:   9781780236704
ISBN 10:   1780236700
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   01 October 2016
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Alison Young is Francine V. McNiff Professor of Criminology at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of Street Art, Public City (2014), Street/ Studio (2010) and Judging the Image (2005).

Reviews for Street Art World

How street art evolved till today is a complex story with many paradoxes at play at all times. Young's elegant yet plainly spoken examination and treatment gives the reader clarity on the artists' motivations to put their art in the street, society's ever-changing attitudes toward it, and the rather stunning impact it is having on neighborhoods and our ideas about contemporary art around the globe. --Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, Cofounders, Brooklyn Street Art Young has a great depth of knowledge about street art, the artists who make it, and the cities that contain it. She's curious and passionate about her subject. But what makes this book so special is Young's analysis of how this all plays in the marketplace, and her clear-eyed take down of the commercial art world. --Sophie Cunningham, author of Melbourne Strikingly illustrated from cover to cover, this well-arranged and intelligently researched text offers authoritative and comprehensive insight into this ubiquitous yet mysterious world. Tracing street art from its origins through to modern commodification, the text is a testament to its author's unflagging dedication to the subject. . . . This highly recommended publication strikes a pleasing balance between coffee table book and reference text and belongs on the bookshelves of casual art lovers and aficionados alike. --The Marianne de Pierres blog How do you begin to describe a decentralized movement which is evolving in real time, largely secretively, and constantly being erased. In Street Art World Young achieves something remarkable; a well written, comprehensive study of this vast movement as told through its central figures. Street Art World is well-researched and smart, written by someone who truly understands the nuances of this vast artist community. --Ian Strange, artist Young has gone to great lengths to research the totality of street art, from the internationally recognized names, to the silent practitioners of subgenre styles. The scope of her knowledge is laid bare for the reader in Street Art World, a wonderfully comprehensive and accessible look at the inner machinations of an often insular practice. . . . It looks at the inner workings of an international art movement finally coming into its own. Young's deeply felt affinity for the genre and its practitioners gives her writing a sincerity and nuance that guides the reader through the many aspects of street art that the artists themselves debate on a daily basis. --Jordan Seiler, PublicAdCampaign Young takes us on a brilliant tour of street art, from graffiti upstart to art world darling. At once insightful, comprehensive, accessible, and copiously illustrated, Street Art World is must-read introduction to this significant new cultural phenomenon. --Iain Borden, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London Young's Street Art World offers a welcome, extended, thoughtful, and insightful critical positioning of an amorphous universe of public, deeply conflicted creative expression. . . . the book in a distinction between street art and graffiti, Young changes the narrative arc and charts a path for considering art routinely assigned to the margins of contemporary art. She adroitly maps and blurs the intersections between street art, graffiti, contemporary art, and advertising, framing the discussion around such concepts as 'streetness, ' 'touristification, ' performance, commodification, property, reputation, and public/civic space. Written in the first person, Street Art World conveys its critical arguments in a memoir-like fashion that amplifies the experience of encountering and intellectually processing the work in the street. Young's rich, smartly illustrated intervention draws on extensive interviews with artists and on the author's urban explorations around the globe. Street Art World is a must read for all who are drawn to vernacular visual culture. This is an exceptional book. Essential. --Choice Young has been a peripatetic chronicler of free-range art for two decades. In Street Art World she weaves, through both exacting prose and evocative imagery, a captivating story about how this illicit and ephemeral place-making activity is undertaken, commodified and reinvented night after night in the world's most contested aesthetic battlegrounds--our city streets. --Bradley L. Garrett, University of Southampton

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