Graffiti L.A.: Street Styles And Art

“The Heavens” refers to a spot a graffiti writer has to climb in order to paint his piece. Graffiti prohibits no place for its artist to express themselves except for the graveyard and the church. Steve Grody discusses these commandments in, Graffiti L.A.: Street Syles and Art (Harry N. Abrams, Inc), a big art slash photography book showcasing endless and wildly colorful throw-ups, pieces, murals from all over East Los Angeles. These rebellious pages of contemporary artwork rewards the viewer with a rush more visceral than ones on many museum visits.Graffiti L.A. helps many graffiti novices with its poignant text and array of vivid photos. Interviews with reknown Graffiti writers like Revok, Siner, and Toomer enhances appreciation for the artwork profiled in the release. Grody also covers the craft, styles, and varying techniques of spray painting within the book’s text. He even exposes how some writers use excessive colors to compensate for their underdeveloped techniques. His commentary catapaults the book past coffee table status and qualifies it as a legitimate primer on the art and history of this urban phenomenon.The photos heavily bolster Graffiti L.A.’s interest level, with their bright hues and diversity of form. Grody photographs pieces from all over the city and drawn on all different mediums. He includes pieces done on bodegas, abandoned yards, billboards, barbed wire walls, train stations, car garages,  and just any place or material that supports spray paint. Stylewise, Graffiti L.A. has something for everybody: ”Rest In Peace” murals for the dead homies, vibrant tag initials for the crew rivalries, and cartoon murals for the community center. Whatever is not in the book is mostly likely in the CD rom that accompanies the book.Graffiti L.A. shows Steve Grody’s immense time and energy, as well as the commitment from the graffiti writers who grace the pages. The artists have literally sprained their ankles, slashed their limbs, and even died to broadcast their work to the world. They, along with Grody, have combined to make this release as ecstatic as the feeling of an ordinary brick wall being forever changed by a extraordinary writer’s spray paint.    

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