The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti


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Rafael Schacter; Foreword by John Fekner

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An authoritative guide to the most significant artists, schools, and styles of street art and graffiti around the world

Painted murals first appeared in Latin America in the early 20th century; in the 1950s, spray-can graffiti associated with Latino gangs followed, notably the “cholo” graffiti of Los Angeles. Today, street art has traveled to nearly every corner of the globe, evolving into a highly complex and ornate art form. The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti is the definitive survey of international street art, focusing on the world’s most influential urban artists and artworks. Since the lives and works of urban artists are inextricably linked to specific streets and places, this beautifully illustrated volume features specially commissioned “city artworks” that provide an intimate understanding of these metropolitan landscapes. 
Organized geographically by country and city, more than 100 of today’s most important street artists—including Espo in New York, Shepard Fairey in Los Angeles, Os Gêmeos in Brazil, and Anthony Lister in Australia—are profiled alongside key examples of their work. The evolution of street art and graffiti within each region is also chronicled, providing essential historical context. With contributions by the foremost authorities on street art and graffiti, this landmark publication provides a nuanced understanding of a widespread contemporary art practice. The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti emphasizes urban art’s powerful commitment to a spontaneous creativity that is inherently connected to the architecture of the metropolis.

Rafael Schacter is honorary research fellow at the Department of Anthropology at University College, London. John Fekner is a street and multimedia artist.

"Curator Schacter offers a stunning survey of artists known for their nonsanctioned public work in this concisely written, yet comprehensive volume. . . . This valuable and impressive tome, featuring a foreword by street and multimedia artist John Fekner, provides an informative, consistent, and well-illustrated narrative of a global art phenomenon."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Rafael Schacter, a British curator and anthropologist, has bundled into the book’s 400 pages a range of styles and modes offering a rare and pleasant encounter with art in which the critic stays (mostly) out of the way. . . . Incorporating histories of graffiti in cities like São Paulo and Tokyo, the book shows us a medium exceptional in its grasping for an essence of place and time. Oh, and it’s beautiful, too."—New York Times Book Review

"The art book to beat all art books sets out to become the definitive reference guide on international street art, covering artists hiding in all corners of the globe. From Shepard Fairey's iconic work in California to Tima Radya's political musings across Russia to Os Gemeos' magical characters sprinkled around Brazil, the anthology of murals and more illuminates the visual beauty of street art, as well as the rich history behind it."—Huffington Post

"This is an excellent introduction to graffiti/street art for readers such as myself, and it will satisfy connoisseurs of the trade, as well."—Kevin Wong, Popmatters

"You’d be hard-pressed to find a nicer-looking coffee table book than The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti. Compiled by Rafael Schacter and put out by Yale University Press, the book is a hefty production, weighing about as much as a laptop and chock-full of gorgeous color photos of some of the planet’s most stunning, creative, classic and avant-garde art on walls, trains and sidewalks."—

"Rarely does a publication come along that can qualify as a definitive reference, but this is definitely one. More than merely a presentation of mural painting and the myriad forms of independent urban creations, it is a validation of the aforementioned as fine art . . . an indispensable reference for art history students and art lovers everywhere."—San Francisco Book Review

"This is a big volume and would make a great coffee table book."—Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"This is a great overview of a fascinating art genre, and its excellent presentation will make it a great gift."—Nico Vreeland, Chamber Four

". . . a piece of art in and of itself."—

"Let’s hope that Schacter’s book finds its way to the folks who oversee the installation of public art in the city. Some in Boston would like to see the Dewey Square commissions go to local artists, but why not open them to the world? Why not consider the celestial allegorical murals by Interesni Kazki, a duo from Kiev, Ukraine, or the gritty larger-than-life portraits by Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto? This book holds a world of possibilities."—Jan Gardner, Boston Globe

"The most eye-opening aspect of this massive, and possibly even definitive, volume is the introduction it offers to graffiti artists in other countries. Among these masterworks are the Philip Guston-like intricacies of EKTA’s creations in Sweden, ARZ’s work in Barcelona, the dreamscapes of AEC and WAONE in Kiev, the Roy Lichtenstein-inspired work of CEPT in London, the nearly countless artists in Mexico City and Melbourne, and the astonishing fantasy animals of BMD in New Zealand. But this is just scratching the surface of the visual delights inside this volume."—Alan Bisbort, Below the Fold

"A truly international and entertaining city by city guide to the most spectacular and most sly works of contemporary art in public places, sometimes authorized, sometimes not."—Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

"An inclusive survey of international street art, focusing on some of the world’s most influential urban artists and their works."—Kirkus Reviews

Winner of the 2014 Los Angeles Book Festival in the Photography/Art Category
ISBN: 9780300199420
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
400 pages, 8 3/4 x 9 1/4
700 color illus.

Sales Restrictions: North and Latin America only