The Library

Graffiti NYC

Martinez / Nato

The introduction of this book opens by saying that it is “based on a fundamental conviction that graffiti is not an anthropological phenomenon to be dissected, not a social malady to be cured, but a legitimate aesthetic and cultural movement born of a revolutionary spirit and a will to resistence.”

Another point raised in the intelligent but never preachy introduction, which sets it apart from a great dal of other books is that it is important that the true reason that the working class youth began to write isn’t forgotten by the glamourisation of the art on pages of art books. To that end, Graffiti NYC lives up to its word.

As a result of this, the photos found within these covers, beautiful as they undoubtedly are, give a much more raw representation of the art. Some of the environments are dank and grey but this only serves to highlight how walls looked at the time New York became the birthplace of graffiti back in the day.

From walls to fences, tagging to full car pieces, this book goes All City and gives a perfect look at where graffiti was born and leave it in its purest form. With quotes from writers taking over the middle pages, Graffiti NYC is definitely one of the most complete art books going.