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Uptown and Downtown: Old Skool Paintings on NYC Subway Maps
by Alan Bortman
Published by Schiffer Books
12"x9", 128p, color, hard cover
New York graffiti writers who cut their teeth painting trains in the '70s and '80s transfer Old Skool street art to a more permanent, collectible medium in this book, using transit maps, instead of subway cars, as canvases. GHOST, T-KID, QUIK, REVOLT, BLADE, SHAME125, COPE2, SKEME, and others decorated ordinary 23"x32" MTA maps with their personal tags and graphics, echoing the heyday of New York train graffiti. Sixteen sections, one for each writer, feature a total of more than 100 maps, as well as brief statements about the painters' artistic evolution and style. Like a dynamic "piece book," or sketchbook, this collection is an exclusive sampling of the painters' signature strokes and tags in portable form. In fact, many of the artists featured here have used subway-map art as a springboard from the fleeting genre of train-tagging to the sturdier platform of the international art gallery circuit.
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