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The History of American Graffiti Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Design (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061698784
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061698781
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 8.8 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The History of American Graffiti is the first truly comprehensive history of graffiti’s secretive, illegal culture.” (Shephard Fairey, artist)

“’Wild style’ graffiti may be the most influential art movement since pop art. Roger Gastman and Caleb Neelon have written the definitive history of the origins of the graffiti styles that emerged in Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles in the early 1970s and inspired young artists around the world.” (Jeffrey Deitch, director, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art)

“Graffiti is a much-maligned and misunderstood social movement, which I am proud to be a part of. This book offers the definitive perspective on graffiti-finally, we have a historical textbook for the most colorful art form modern society has known.” (David Arquette, actor)

“If there were a college course on graffiti, this would be its textbook, but these stories are more fun than academic: The History of American Graffiti also supplements a degree from the school of street smarts.” (Shepard Fairey, artist)

“This book is a much-needed celebration of a true American art form-graffiti writing. Whether you love or hate graffiti, this book breaks down the history of this controversial art. Learn about this important movement-cop this book!” (Alain "KET" Maridueña, author, Graffiti Planet, Rockin' It Suckers, and Graffiti Tattoo)

“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)

About the Author

Roger Gastman started writing graffiti as a teenager in Bethesda, Maryland, and was able to parlay his love for it into a legitimate career. He founded and published two respected pop­culture magazines—While You Were Sleeping and Swindle (copublisher)—as well as more than a dozen highly sought-after art books. He is the founder and creative director of R. Rock Enterprises, a multiplatform media agency specializing in print, art, design, marketing, and brand development that has nurtured the careers of internationally recognized artists. Gastman has produced several independent documentary films and has held speaking engagements at universities and museums across the country. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his two yellow Labs, Nicky and Harley.

Caleb Neelon has been writing about urban history and contemporary culture for more than fifteen years. He is the co­author of Street World and Graffiti Brasil, author of his artist monograph, Caleb Neelon's Book of Awesome, and a contributor to dozens of other books and magazines. He has painted walls in more than two dozen countries and exhibited in galleries, museums, hospitals, and educational settings. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christopher on April 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By moshe barak on April 29, 2011
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jon on March 8, 2012
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!!

~EVOL
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By paul lukes on September 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom on May 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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!
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