Reviewed by Maggie: May 2, 2012
Published June 1, 2008 by Abrams
Goodreads • Buy at Amazon • Book Depository
"Look around and take notice of the traces left by street artists on the city's walls and pavement. Rethink the city, rediscover its surfaces, and map out walks that may lead you to new graphic horizons. Find something in the least imaginable places, choose what to look at — beauty is where you discover it —and interpret the artistic messages that are being communicated to you. This is an adventure that takes place in the street."
This is how Fabienne Grévy begins her fantastic book. Graffiti Paris is a book of street art photographs taken by Grévy and her father over 15 years. Together, they wandered around Paris as they looked for pieces to curate their "imaginary museum." The result is a diverse collection of street art ideas, techniques, styles, and artists. Grévy includes pieces by famous artists and anonymous ones, works with messages and works without. Each piece is numbered, and details, such as name, location, and translation, are indexed in the back of the book. The most familiar artist, at least to Americans, is probably Shepard Fairey (#53). Another notable artist is Blek le Rat (#127), the man who inspired Banksy. My favorite artist, Fafi (#49), is also included.
I absolutely loved this book. It felt like I was walking around Paris with the coolest guide, the one who always finds the hole-in-the-wall restaurants that serve the best food. I love to travel, and when I do, I like to wander off the beaten path. The next time I'm in Paris, this book will be my guide. (Hopefully, I'll have a Shadow as well.) I know a lot of pieces have already been painted over, but what better way to explore than looking for random street art? I love how Grévy describes graffiti art: an "artistic break-in that has yet to find a name in the books of art history." Parfait.
Rating: 5/5 stars.
I went through my pictures from France and found two that I wanted to share:
I lived in France for nearly a year and there were roughly 3,682 strikes.
This picture was taken at the Louvre during one strike.
I loved that even the strike posters had an artistic bent.
Translation: My guardians are angry. Give them what they are owed.
This next picture was taken in the town of Angoulême.
Angoulême is home to the International Comics Festival
and there is comic-inspired graffiti art painted throughout the city.
This was one of my favorite towns in France.
I loved exploring the city while going on a street art hunt.
You can get a map of the different locations from the Hôtel de Ville.
Note: If you're interested, this gorgeous hardcover is on sale for less than $7 on Amazon.