Subverted signs, spontaneous drawings, powerful monolithic symbols, and curious characters represent a worldwide outdoor gallery of free contemporary art.Graffiti art is constantly changing. Fresh coats of paint and newly pasted posters appear overnight in cities across the world. New artists, new ideas, and new tactics displace faded images in a perpetual process of renewal and metamorphosis. From Los Angeles to Barcelona, Stockholm to Tokyo, Melbourne to Milan, wall spaces are a breeding ground for graphic and typographic forms as artists unleash their daily creations. Current graffiti art is reflective of the world around it. Using new materials and techniques, its innovators are creating a language of forms and images infused with contemporary graphic design and illustration. Fluent in branding and graphic imagery, they have been replacing tags with more personal logos and shifting from typographic to iconographic forms of communication. Street Logos is a worldwide celebration of these new developments in twenty-first-century graffiti, an essential sourcebook for all art and design professionals, and a delight to everyone excited by the vitality of the street. 423 color illustrations.
Author Biography: Tristan Manco is a graphic designer and partner of Tijuana Design, based in Bristol, England. He is the author of Stencil Graffiti, the best-selling guide to stenciled graffiti worldwide.
Over the past decade, many graffiti artists have moved away from painting their signatures in the familiar wide-style lettering (a practice known as “tagging”). Instead, they leave—and make—their mark with pictograms that become personal trademarks. Thus, a Belgian artist known as Plug appends large, cartoon electric plugs to machines in public places, while Cha, an academy-trained painter, adorns the walls of Barcelona with Picasso-influenced cats. Manco’s colorful survey of this D.I.Y. subculture spotlights some seventy artists working in the service of an impulse that is variously subversive, ironic, pop, celebratory, and dogmatic. In this medium, recognition is everything, and Manco’s subjects are heavily influenced by the use of logos in advertising; the London artist Banksy terms his work “Brandalism.” Exuberantly inventive, they enjoy responding to, and even altering, each other’s work, to form what the New York-based artist Swoon calls a “community of actions.”