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Street Art


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There are many books available on graffiti, but most focus on specific places or time periods, or they are of the coffee-table variety with numerous photos but little content. Lewisohn, a London artist, attempts the first global history of street art and graffiti, which he defines as two distinct concepts. He dedicates too much of the text to pondering the differences between the two art forms-in short, he explains that graffiti are text based and appeal mainly to an inner circle of graffiti writers while street art is more pictorial and directed at a wider range of passersby. Although the book seems to aim for comprehensiveness, it has clear strengths and weaknesses. Lewisohn's discussions of New York City graffiti in the 1980s and its influence on street art in Brazil, Europe, and Australia are good, and his thoughts on the cultural differences between graffiti artists and people in academic art history are effective. However, a section on graffiti in antiquity is underdeveloped and perhaps unnecessary. Overall, this is recommended for academic and larger public libraries.-Eric Linderman, Euclid P.L., OH Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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