Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Art in the Streets
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Customer Reviews

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on May 18, 2011
There should be every reason to be almost distrustful of an exhibition catalogue of street art/graffiti that transposes it into a museum setting. However, this book does an excellent job of ensuring that the reader is looking outside the walls of the institution, being both a history and a means of generating a deep level of appreciation for a set of art forms (not just graffiti but tattoos, auto decoration, and an almost bewildering range of other mediums) in a serious way that doesn't always treat itself too reverently. Only wish some of the photographs were better, and better chosen, but the documentation for this art is, of course, always problematic. Highly recommended.
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on September 9, 2011
Art in the Streets, the Jeffrey Deitch curated show, has been quite an unavoidable and influential topic in street art circles this year, in particular for those of us related to the USA where it was fairly pervasive. The catalogue offers what seems to be a good overview of the show, but it also shines in its flaws.

While it may seem from a distance that the book offers a general or dedicated overview of street cultures, what it does explicitly is take the rise of graffiti cultures in New York, highlights them with a few touches of history here and there, and argues rapidly for its unequivocal influence with a few international examples, and a revolving narrative about its legacy and expansion in the States.

This US centrism would not be a problem, and could be quite a legitimate area to focus given the background and knowledge of the curating team. There is obviously plenty to share and claim from the US influence and experience as a way of opening debates of public art, sanctioned and informal cultures, etc. But it lingers to easily on a disregard of history, on a "me first" attitude commonly seen in other areas, that pushes precedents to a footnote, if not ignored altogether, and glorifies own events above all else. In fact, it ignores rather willingly the processes of cultural colonization of which it is part.

But probably the biggest flaw of the volume and project lies in not what it is but in what it chooses to leave out, and its lack of open processes, which is a common problem in endeavors that pretend to be comprehensive. Here the biggest omission is not only an attempt to explore the mechanisms of public dispute, of political engagement and disengagement, that art in the streets represents, but the glaring omission of those polemics where the show is a central acting character, and where it could offer a polemic insight.

There are a few notable stories in this regard, but obviously the one around the work of Blu, which is prominently displayed in a 4 page spread, including a double page bleeding shot of the work that the Museum Director and main organizer of the exhibit Jeffrey Deitch had himself ordered buffed. Publishing requirements aside, it is quite a glaring omission. And it is also quite telling of the curatorial mechanism and ranges of polemics that the topic generates. Likewise, probably the local impact, and discourses from authorities, mainstream media, and other conservative organizations around the claimed negative impact that a show glorifying vandalism has on communities may also deserve a note elsewhere. For instance, the polemic arising from from the trite MacDonal's Essay, which supposedly triggered the cancellation of the same show in Brooklyn is worth noting. But of course, here we are already looking at processes spurned by the exhibition, which an old fashion catalogue has no interest and capacity to include.

The catalogue, despite the regular suspects and that self-centered vision of the culture it aims to represent has some redeeming qualities. It is questionable whether this celebration of Street Art will help promote the culture instead of stereotyping it more, and facilitate its continued passive absorption in some sectors. But by the same token of US centrism that permeates most of the volume, some of the most interesting interviews and sections precisely dig in that area, despite that it is a fairly well documented aspect elsewhere.

Of all the essays, the closing one by Diedrich Diederichsen "Street Art as a Threshold Phenomenon" while not free of some general defects of the overall project is the only one that explores a more complex overview of the mechanisms that shape the culture that the volume is trying to apprehend.

Other than that the volume offers a perfunctory chronology that starts in 1941 with Kilroy was here, and dwells in plenty of US milestones peppered with growing international notes as the timeline progresses as if that were to prove the direct influence of US street culture in the world, passing over glaring simplifications about the colonization exercised by the USA, physically and culturally through the years that would explain more accurately certain aspects of that influence.

Unfortunately the book might serve ultimately as soft propaganda candy, and maybe a good entry overview of some segmented phenomenon related to urban cultures.
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on February 18, 2014
Ibought this book as a gift for my boyfriend who is a little hard to buy for. He really likes it, so imhappy about that. I flipped through it resently and found some amazing art. Ordering and getting the shipment in was simple also.
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on August 7, 2011
Keep in mind that Jeffrey Deitch insisted on the destruction of a mural painted especially for this exhibit (by the artist Blu). Blu's mural showed coffins draped in dollar bills. Deitch said he felt the mural would be offensive to the neighbors at the nearby VA, and to Japanese (the MOCA Geffen gallery is in Little Tokyo, and the mural was eyeshot from a WWII war memorial for Japanese-American soldiers).; however, none of the neighbors said a peep about the mural. There were no complaints.

The truth is ... Deitch was worried about riling up Sarah Palin and her ilk, and having MOCA get attacked on FOX News. Therefore, no anti-war statements in public.

This exhibition is scarred by Deitch's censorship for political reasons, and the museum suffers from his poor judgement in general.
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on November 28, 2011
Haven't read the blurb yet but I don't know how the author got his hands on these flicks. Killer extras from subway art and style wars era. Worth it for those. plus Rammelzee and Lady Pink. Looking forward to reading it in the bath with a martini unless I get too distracted by the awesome phots. Forget the haters. It's worth it for the rare flicks
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on October 14, 2011
This is a great coffee table book full of interesting and provacative images that can't help but trigger discussion- some love it and some hate it... even in the same family. I for one loved the show and like the anthology even more!
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on October 3, 2014
Amazing quality except for the fat "USED" stickers that come slapped on the cover and the back. They should use a different system. I could really care less, got nearly brand new book for cheap, idk if all business do this...
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on August 13, 2015
FOUND THIS IN TOYKO AND HAD TO BUY IT ONLINE, DID NOT DISAPPOINT
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