I don’t live in a city, so I don’t see much graffiti or muralism in my everyday life, but I was always rather fascinated by the idea of a wall brought to life and transformed from a boundary into a piece of art that transcends boundaries. Street Art: Santiago is full of beautiful murals, but it is far more than that. Like graffiti itself, the book is just as much about text as images. The photographs are interspersed with quotes and interviews with the muralists and graffiti artists.
This book provided far more than just beautiful and startling art. It gave me a glimpse of the rich world of the street artist, the contention between muralism and graffiti, the varied motivations that lead street artists to mark the walls of their communities with everything from paint bombs to beautifully collaborative murals. If I have a criticism of the book, it’s that the pictures and the interviews don’t always correspond. When I’m reading an artist’s words, I’d like to immediately be able to contrast their ideas with their artwork. The structure of the book made this more of a challenge. Even so, you begin to get a sense of each artist. They have passionate and varied opinions about legal versus illegal locations, commercialization, the politics of muralism, the role of tagging and paint bombs, and even the value of their art for the streets.
Overall, Street Art: Santiago is a beautiful book and an interesting read, and it gave me a new appreciation of the complexity, vibrancy, and variety of street art.
~~I received an advanced reader copy of this ebook through NetGalley from the publisher, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., in exchange for my honest review. ~~