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Graffiti L.A.: Street Styles and Art (with cd-rom) Hardcover – May 1, 2007


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Graffiti L.A.: Street Styles and Art (with cd-rom) + Graffiti New York + Graffiti World (Updated Edition): Street Art from Five Continents
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Har/Cdr edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810992981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810992986
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 8.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The culmination of author and photographer Grody's 17-year obsession, this stunning examination of Los Angeles street art should prove to be a definitive work on the subject. Beginning in the 1930s, when stylized calligraphic writing (often called "Old English") was first used by Latino gangs to mark territories, Grody quickly moves on to the art form's explosion in the '80s, when four distinct forms were spreading throughout the city: tags, a name in stylized script; throw-ups, one-color designs quickly applied; pieces, more elaborate and colorful efforts; and productions, a collection of pieces. The book truly takes off among the hundreds of beautifully photographed pieces Grody offers, along with testimony from the artists and "crews" who created them. Grody describes the anatomy of a piece, crew dynamics and the politics of what is still an illegal art form, but knows when to step back and let the artists speak for themselves; he elicits comments on everything from overcoming early technical obstacles to close calls-both with cops and injury-to the history and meaning behind their art. The importance of Grody's work-as in any other street art roundup-is in capturing these short-lived pieces before they're inevitably defaced by rivals or painted over by the authorities; what makes this beautiful book stand out is the way Grody completes his vibrant picture with the voices of the street artists themselves. CD-ROM included.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Steve Grody saw spray can art begin to appear around Los Angeles’s streets and walls in the 1980s and immediately recognized its creativity and verve. Since 1990, he has been driving across Los Angeles searching its back alleys, washes, and abandoned lots for this vernacular art.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This is a must own for any fan of graffiti.
MikesSon
A lot of insight as well well as descriptions, interviews from writers, and a ton of pictures!
Andres Maldonado
All I can say is get this book!!!!If you love that LA raw stuff.
INVID-71

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Fifty years ago, graffiti was something written in restrooms and was relatively private. Now graffiti is an art form. You can think of it as vandalism; if it is your wall, or a public wall, and it is supposed to stay clean and undecorated, any unwanted spray-painting, no matter how fancy, is vandalism. But even if it is vandalism (and sometimes the owner of the wall invites the decoration, or the painting is done on canvas for a gallery), there is no arguing that graffiti now is some sort of art. This is especially obvious if you examine the hundreds of pictures in _Graffiti L.A.: Street Styles and Art_ (Abrams) by Steve Grody. Grody loves the graffiti of Los Angeles, and booms, "Along with the myriad styles these artists have created, they have also evolved world-class graphic skills now comparable to the best aerosol work anywhere." It seems funny that anyone would be comparing "aerosol work" from any locales, but you don't have to know about the styles elsewhere to enjoy the astonishing colors and designs found here. Grody examines the ethical issues of this sort of work, but it is clear that such evaluation is secondary to the art itself. He includes interviews with many of the artists (they call themselves "writers"), examines techniques and styles, and shows an appreciation of how this peculiar form of art has redeemed many of its practitioners, and redeemed some blighted public spaces as well.

The spray can is the choice of the writers because it is easily concealed and is portable. On the wall's surface, its effects can be controlled, but it can also cover an area quickly. The furtiveness of making graffiti necessitates the use of the spray can, but writers use it even in gallery work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By INVID-71 on October 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
All I can say is get this book!!!!If you love that LA raw stuff.It's pretty well rounded,and gives you a whole look at what's going on past and present.If you have never been to LA.Here is your chance.Oh and it's focus is not on just one crew.Get this book first, on LA graff if you have to choose one.Plus an cd rom with photo's.You can't beat that.Good job Mr.Grody GOOD JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MikesSon on November 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
By no exaggeration, this book is the best of its kind. It starts out with the history of gang writing then follows up with the evolution of the art including techniques, paint and cap types, run-ins with the law, etc. The pictures are as clear as can be, and the forever present artist commentary is the perfect compliment to the fantastic collection of pics. This is a must own for any fan of graffiti.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Nye on March 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really a great overview of LA graffiti stretching from the old past to the almost-now present. Lots of the known names as well as some that you will not forget once you get this book. If you know of and appreciate Subway Art and want the second course, this is it and more. All photos are clear and well presented with excellent quotes that give insight into these artists' methods and madness. Very Good layout with so much info and flicks that you can really open this book to any page and be drawn in. A nice balanced writing style that welcomes writers, enthusiasts, and newcomers alike. This book approaches Subway Art as one of the Bibles of graffiti art and will be a key element in pushing this art/vandalism form ahead into the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Duvernois TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book covers many of the crews and writers of LA graffiti, past and present. There's history, interviews, and LOTS of photos. The DVD has even more images on it.

I hesitated to review this books since I'm not super-knowledgeable about the graffiti culture, but for me it was a revelation, filling a lot of the details of the whys and hows of the work, and showing me more pieces that I'd ever be able to see in person, even if I drove around LA for a couple of weeks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andres Maldonado on February 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
great book from the ABRAMS publishing. A lot of insight as well well as descriptions, interviews from writers, and a ton of pictures! this book is well put together, and the accompanying CD is a well done BONUS element as well with two interviews, soundtrack, and a ton of pics as well!
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By D. A. MARTINEZ on June 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not from LA but i like all kind of graffiti books.
This one is really a good one, mainly with hundreds of pictures from the classic graffiti from LA: wildstiles, big murals and some fat cap tags.
Very heavy and hardcover, looks like "graffiti world" but is even bigger.
I suppose that a lot of walls from the city are represented here, so its a must have if you are from California, and a very interesting book if you are interested in graff.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my bf, because he loves graffiti art, and used to have his own crew many years ago. He loves to look at the pictures, and see the deeper meanings that a lot of artists present in their graffiti along with murals. Finding the artist's tags in the art is also fun. We both enjoy looking through this book, and plan to buy similar items in the future.
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