Customer Reviews: Graffiti Kings: New York City Mass Transit Art of the 1970's
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on December 26, 2009
This amazing book is based on the doctoral thesis of artist and historian, Jack Stewart. It documents the early development of graffiti on the subways of New York, and examines it's distinguishable characteristics and emerging styles. It clearly demonstrates where the many common motifs found in today's graffiti, such as arrows, 3-D and clouds, originated from.

The book combines 275 full color, previously unpublished photographs with personal interviews of graffiti writers and newspaper articles of the time. The text is well researched, very informative and entertaining. This book is a celebration of graffiti's golden age in the 1970's and fills in a lot of early history. It is beautiful, very well made and is a must have for anyone serious about understanding how the graffiti art form has developed to where it is today. We love this book!!!
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on April 26, 2009
As a graffiti historian myself, I am always looking for books that deal with the history of graffiti on trains in America. I read Jack Stewarts dissertation (Subway Graffiti; An Acsthetic Study of Graffiti On The Subway System Of New York City 1970 - 1978) long before this book was published. Since it is from that dissertation this masterpiece was derrived, I was familiar with much of it already. However, the copy of the dissertation is in a basic typeset and the photos are poorly reproduced photocopies. With all that said, Graffiti Kings was a refresher course in the birth of Writing for full color. Seeing it all again, this time in full color, made it a welcomed read, now for the 4th time (I read the dissertation 3 times). The fact that he begins with Philly is all but perfect as it lets the world know that what is known today as graffiti, or more accurately Writing, began in Philly. The remainder of the book takes you year by year through the development of the fundamentals of of how this culture began. Because Jack Stewart was not a writer, there is no bias. Anyone who is writes (does graffiti) or anyone interested in writing needs to have this book. It is hands down the best book on Writing (not just subway writing) since Subway Art.
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on May 25, 2009
well what can i say.short and simple,this book is dope.worthy of your hard earned cash for sure.
full colour flick after flick,great interveiws,even some old graff that i hadnt seen,so for me this was a great delite.
being a huge fan of nyc graffiti,even more so subway nyc graff,this book scores a home run in my book.
i had been waiting for months to peep it,and it was well worth the wait.
also being a hardcover,you know this book will still be in top condition many years from now.
if you like/love any sort of ol school nyc graff,then dont miss out on this will not be disapointed.
i cant even think of something i didnt like it,even the size of this book,fits snugg into your
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on April 2, 2009
an absolutely amazing collection of sharp, clear and vividly colorful photographs of the maturation of the new york city subway graffiti scene circa early to late seventies. i was there and remember it well. any writer/artist interested in the roots of "modern" graffiti needs to see this. amazing to compare this old skool flavor with todays awesome cutting edge graffiti from here and all over the world. it belonged to new york once and now the whole world shares in this most unique art form. the author starts out by giving respect to the old philly scene, most notably cornbread and kool earl. but clearly jack stewarts intentions were to document the evolution of a renegade art form that few people realized was happening in the subway tunnels and train yards in new york city, brooklyn, bronx, and queens. so many old skool cats are represented here and a lot of these fella's (and ladies) were overlooked when graf blew up in the 80's. this book gives them their due. graffiti kings is sort of like the next chapter to john naar's magnificent the birth of graffiti. where as the birth of graffitis photos were a little on the arty side featuring an even mixture of trains, walls, playgrounds etc. graffiti kings is almost entirely trains. and again these are really good photographs. no blurry polaroids here. the first photo you will see in this book is the bathroom door in jack stewarts studio which is covered with a whos who of old skool bombers tags. a caption claims over 190 hits! it took me about fifteen minutes to get past the first page! this door belongs in the smithsonian. but then the trains come. and its just page after page after page of whole car wild styles, throw ups, and tags from tracy 168, fdt 56, blade, comet, clyde, ajax, cliff 159, butch, kindo, super kool, mono, etc, etc, etc. the book has numerous interviews with, and observations by many of the writers from that time. there is also mention of graffiti in the media news paper articles etc pertaining to that era as well. so in conclusion; if old skool is your thing then by all means pick up this book you will not be disapointed. if youre new skool see where it all began and be amazed by progress. five stars plus.
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on June 23, 2009
if you always thot that OGNYC graff started on the Subways then went to the walls, pick up this book and find out that it's really the other way around.
It opened MY eyes, as I always Knew this but never comprehended it. This book is a Spectacular Collection of Stories, Flicks, and Anecdotes from even Pre-Taki 183, just to hep you to the era.

as a fan of OGNYC and Philly Graff, this book was DOPE.
It's EASY to Read, and if you're not a fan, this may very well change yr mind; if you Are a fan, this book will be a cherished piece in yr library.

5 stars with no doubt, Big Ups Mr.Jack Stewart
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on December 13, 2012
Great book! Any fan of graffiti art and its origins must have this! Many train photos that i have never seen before and i have seen zillions! Excellent!
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on November 27, 2013
This book has one of the best and most interesting stories of the beginnings of graffiti in NYC. Tons of great pictures.
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on October 3, 2014
very good
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on November 29, 2014
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on May 25, 2014
Great book if you are an advid or novice fan or collector of graffiti art. Nice color photos to reference
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