The Library

Subway World

Torkel Sjostrand

The title of the book says it all and that’s why this is such a great book to flick through. The trend that began in New York has quickly been taken all over the world and turned into integral parts of the graffiti landscape. Whilst many authorities are doing their best to clear the subway cars of this amazing art, this book allows you to see just how far the movement has spread, regardless.

As the introduction informs, there are more than 140 subway systems across the world and many of them differ from each other, but what binds them is this art. Indeed, as the author states: “In the world of graffiti, there is no end station; instead, individual cities are interlinked, as if in one global subway system. A subway world.”. What better way to prove this statement than by showing trains from 75 cities in full colour shots with information on the city beside each one.

From Yerevan in Armenia through Caracas in Venezuela to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, the art shines brightly and the anecdotes certainly raise a smile. For example, in Lille, as Derick from SPK-Mutants says, you can work on the train without fear of a driver catching you, as the trains are driverless and in Warsaw, Bitch from EWC says there’s only one line on their subway system, so more progress has been made in the bombing than on the actual trains.

There are many interesting facts strewn throughout the book and they sit nicely alongside the brilliant photography. Well worth picking up!