Michael Jacobson & Tobias Barenthin Lindblad [Eds]
Overground 2 is, as expected, exactly the same style as the first book, the review of which can be found here. Different people pick a writer they want to show case from Scandinavia and take the reader on their own personal tour of the life and thoughts of that artist. It is a format which worked really well in the first book and so its nice to see they stuck with it for the follow up.
Again, there’s are writers from all sides of the graffiti world and it’s refreshing to see the different techniques used by the artists. Right from the start, when the section focuses on Adams, from Stockholm, you can see it’s not just going to be about writing on walls. It looks at how Adams makes his King Size marker, which he then distributed across the world so that his effect would be seen across the globe and how he was able to compile photofits of all the guards in Stockholm which he could give out to the writers so they’d know who to look out for when they were writing. This spirit is something that glues the graffiti community together and is justifiably respected in the writing of the journalist presenting Adams.
Finsta, from Lund, is also very innovative when it comes to art. Encouraged by his father, who used to draw all the time, we find out that Finsta was able to vary the art he made but always keep it reigned into his own style. This is proved in his section by showcasing his sketching, his graffiti on walls, his use of everyday objects in art [like making a face out of a U-Bend under a sink] and also making massive objects for his art classes, like a giant chainsaw. Whilst all this goes on and his popularity increases, he has had to keep his feet on the ground, only taking the work he wants, rather than everything that’s been offered because that’d break up the flow he has.
The third artist to showcase in this review is Helsinki’s Trama who comes across as quite an aggressive person, getting involved in trouble when he was a kid, drinking lots, not paying any attention to any kinds of authority and basically becoming as infamous as he was renowned in the Finnish graffiti scene. Though again, you don’t feel antagonised by him as he recounts how the increasing in security around the trains meant the community needed to stop warring with each other and join forces against them. He finishes off by talking about how graffiti has helped him learn tricks of the trade so that he’s able to start getting paid for lacquering and understanding colour schemes.
Just like the first of the Overground series, this book shows you how different the artists can be whilst at the same time living with the same ideals. It’s eye opening and it’s unputdownable, so if you got the first one and enjoyed it, make sure you get the sequel.