French / France
Gentil, Mélanie (text)
[Paris]: Éd. Palette, 2014. – 76 p.
Art – Street art – City – Graffiti – Non-fiction
The city is a big jungle of signs, always rewriting itself, a confusing storm of commercial and traffic signs and messages of all kinds. At the same time, it is like an open-air gallery used by artists to display their work, sometimes not entirely legally and often anonymously. This knowledgeable book by art historian Mélanie Gentil connects the history, functions and controversies surrounding street art as contemporary art. It features major international figures as well as francophone artists. The author also scrutinises the highly ambivalent question of the street art’s success. Has “urban art” transformed itself from an uncompromising, independent art form of resistance and “vandalism” into a pleasing “art in the public realm”? Has it acquiesced to become a streamlined commodity for the art market? This volume ends with a short glossary of terms from street art insider lingo, such as “tag” and “blaze”. (Age: 12+)