Friday, August 1, 2008

Street Art That Sucks

Prestel International publishes some nice art books covering everything from North Korean poster art to Egon Scheile and Peter Hugo's award-winning photography book The Hyena & Other Men.

That said...
I thumbed through one of their line of regional Street Art series (I believe it was Brooklyn, but they also have books on Paris and the U.K.) and I was struck by some of the most pathetically amateurish art I’ve ever seen. I don’t mean primitivist genius like Basquiat or intentionally naïve stuff of Keith Haring or comics artists like Kochalka or Jeffrey Brown. I mean stuff that looks like it was drawn by clueless teenagers and/or extremely amateurish and derivative bubble-tagging (you know those fat letters that used to be the bane of the NYC subway system pre-Ghouliani? [sic on purpose]). And this wasn't in some cheap paperback with the raggedy bulk paper and bad binding either. No it was a lushly-produced book that certainly didn't come cheap and yet was filled page-after-page with utter garbage. Whose idea was it to waste paper on this shit? And how the fuck does one get a seemingly sane publisher to bite on such nonsense?

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