Graffiti and Street Art; Anna Waclawek (Thames and Hudson)
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This concise and accessible survey, the latest title in Thames & Hudson's renowned World of Art series, is set to become the definitive popular guide to graffiti and street art. The traditional letter-based graffiti that appeared on the streets of Philadelphia and New York over forty years ago launched a global art movement that has evolved into two distinct disciplines. While both thrive illegally and challenge the concept of public space, the new wave of street art puts greater emphasis on figures, abstraction, symbols and formal techniques. This book explains the terms and language of graffiti and street art - from tags and throwies to culture jamming and subvertising - as well as their multiple influences and sub-genres. Organized thematically, it traces the origins and evolution of graffiti and street art, and explores the motivations and practices of the leading exponents; the relationship between these art forms and the urban environment; their interactions with (or rejection of) the market and the world of commercial galleries; and their increasingly important role in visual culture as a whole.