Street Art Contemporary Prints by Riikka Kuittinen

17 Jan

Perception is one of the most fascinating notions, particularly when related to art. Differences in perception can lead to so many varying interpretations of a piece of art. Riikka draws upon this sentiment at the beginning of Street Art and reminds us to consider that the very phenomenon that we are reading about was once perceived by some as nothing more than graffiti. For this reason, Riikka leaves personal interpretations to a minimum and instead chooses to allow the prints themselves to speak to each individual reader accordingly.

Compiled using street art prints that have been collected by the Victoria and Albert Museum, the book is mainly a visual guide to street art highlights from all over the world. Prints are celebrated as an “affordable and democratic medium” and the ability to spread such art on a large scale is a point of discussion, “it is no coincidence that the escalators of the London Underground are a popular site for street-art stickers”. Artists such as Banksy, Sweet Toof and Evoker provide examples of art forms from screen prints to stickers and therefore take art from places such as the back of a skateboard to a theatre installation. The collection is punctuated with small explanatory sections and divided in accordance with topics of focus. Rather than giving extended detail on artists in particular, areas such as ‘Politics and Propaganda’ are presented with examples of established artists. The words in the book are not perhaps as important as the visuals and it seems that to engage with the art is the main task at hand when reading. Street Art itself is covered with a paper print of ‘Time Waits for No Man’ by Kerry Roper for the reader to enjoy at their own leisure.

My favourite piece was ‘CMYK’ by Blu.

Concluded with a small paragraph about each featured artist and details of websites to look to for more street art inspiration, this book would be a lovely addition either to an art fanatic’s book shelf or those who are looking to begin their street art education.

A la Mode Appraisal: 7/10

Street Art Contemporary Prints is published by V&A Publishing and will amuse and bemuse you for £14.99.

If you liked this you may also like 1000 Ideas for Graffiti and Street Art by Christian Campos.

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