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The History of American Graffiti [Hardcover]

Roger Gastman , Caleb Neelon
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £25.00
Price: £20.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

19 April 2011
In the scope of human history, graffiti is the only visual art form started by children to have become a globally entrenched medium. With forty years of history as an organized artistic lifestyle sport, graffiti has sprung from the neglected neighborhoods of New York and Philadelphia to cover cities on every habitable continent. It was an amazing formula: fame for your name via effort and style. In the middle of the 1980s, there was a rush of media attention focused on the movement of graffiti, as a part of the hip-hop culture that included rapping, DJing, and breakdancing. The movement immediately spread throughout the world and took immovable root across the United States. Yet despite the early rush and all of its success around the world, the written history of its expansion has remained scant, and to this day, the general public, even the educated general public, has only a faint sense of what graffiti is about, and one often clouded by misconceptions. "The History of American Graffiti" provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the roots of a subculture that, in the last twenty-five years, has managed to move mainstream without losing its edge. Authors Roger Gastman and Caleb Neelon have spent the better part of the last five years interviewing key figures in the graffiti world throughout American-from the bedrock cities of New York City, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles to the lesser-known, but equally important hotspots of Cleveland, Baltimore, and Phoenix. Approximately 90 percent of the art in this book has never been published, and was sourced directly from the artists who lived the scene, giving the book a raw street vibe as authentic as the history it documents.

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Frequently Bought Together

The History of American Graffiti + The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti + The Mammoth Book of Street Art: An insider's view of contemporary street art and graffiti from around the world (Mammoth Books)
Price For All Three: £39.67

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Collins Design (19 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061698784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061698781
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 22.2 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"When the American graffiti movement emerged, it was 'outsider' art, youth art, and public art all at once. It shattered racial and economic segregation and provoked political and generational reprobation. Roger Gastman and Caleb Neelon's The History of American Graffiti is as sweeping, provocative, and monumental as the movement itself."--Jeff Chang, author, Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars grafftiti book 26 Dec 2012
By boyband
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this as a gift, he liked it very much. Thank you. We may buy more of this type of book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift for a "Graffitti" photographer 5 Nov 2011
By Sarah B
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Saw this on sale whilst on holiday but due to the size and weight of the book decided againt purchasing to carry home. It is a intensive book - plenty to read and plenty of photo's. Can't wait to give it as the birthday gift it was intended to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 24 Sep 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
very good
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars definitely delievers on its title. 7 April 2011
By Christopher - Published on Amazon.com
books about graffiti can be hit-or-miss; they vary from the very artistic and beautiful to pop-culture garbage. i'm very happy to say that this book is one of the former. for starters, it's a just over 400 pages long, packed full of pictures and text. while i expect any good graffiti book to have lots of pictures, this one is quite different in that it reads like a history book. that is, it delivers on its title, and this isn't any small feat. it spans the american graffiti world both historically and regionally, including short 2-page articles on most major american cities (the biggest cities, i.e. New York, Philly, LA, etc., have their own chapters). the depth of the information varies, as can be expected by such an endeavor, but the breadth of what the authors undertook is astounding, and far exceeded my expectations and hopes. i highly recommend this book to anyone who is seriously interested in graffiti as the artform that it is.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars knocked me out 29 April 2011
By moshe barak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is comprehensive, insightful, and profound. takes it's place on the top shelf of hip-hop/graffiti books. The chapter on My home town of East Chicago took me by surprise. i knew all those guys! My son grew up in awe of them and carries the torch with UAE & FTR of Chicago. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History of American Graffiti 3 May 2011
By Tom - Published on Amazon.com
To date, this is the most comprehensive look at the origins of graffiti. The book delves into local lore from the streets of major American cities, giving an accurate account of the birth of the contraversial American subculture. Whether you see it as expression or vandalism, this book takes you on a tour of the streets where the "voice of the ghetto" was written on the walls! Hopefully there is a sequal in the works!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased but it should and could have been longer 9 Mar 2012
By Jon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book could have been at least 3 or 4 times longer than it actually is but then it would weigh about 15 pounds instead of about 3-4 lbs. I love the thick pages and the colorful pictures and i also loved how detailed the history was. THERE SHOULD BE A CLASS WITH THIS AS THE TEXTBOOK IN EVERY COLLEGE IN THE NATION!!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars best attempt so far 20 Sep 2011
By paul lukes - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a success for one main reason-the fact that it is the first book to attempt to encompass such a comprehensive history of easily one of the most elusive cultures in modern art. The fact that Roger Gastman and Caleb Neelon are/have been part of the graffiti culture [Gastman more than Neelon] for the majority of their careers has proven to be a valuable asset in the investigative part of writing this book. The 5 years of research and writing that made this book happen produced a great deal of valuable information and regional history from east to west coast. In my humble opinion, this book could have easily been twice the size. While NYC is obviously the Mecca for graffiti and is highly important to the culture's birth and progression, it is not the majority of graffiti's story. While this book is the best attempt so far in touching on all of the specific local graffiti traditions, trends and waves I feel that it could have gone even deeper in digging up information on the culture in less popular and known areas. Some states could easily fill more than two pages with information and imagery yet that is all they were given while a whole 1/4 of the book is devoted to NYC. Nonetheless, this book is a milestone in graffiti publication and is a must buy for any graff kid or aficionado. Buy it used if you can. I read it cover to cover and still enjoy flipping through it occasionally. I do know enough about the culture though to know that there is still a lot left out.
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