The Faith of Graffiti

More

>

The Wooster Collective just posted the first installment of a nice video interview with Jon Naar, the photographer behind the seminal 1974 book The Faith of Graffiti. When Faith was first released, it gained as much attention for Norman Mailer's bombastic introductory essay as it did for Naar's stunning images--it's fantastic to finally have it back in print, and for Naar to get the credit he deserves.

I wrote about Naar and Mailer, the anniversary edition of Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper's equally influential Subway Art and the "Born in the Streets" exhibit in Paris a couple months back for Bookforum. As I was wrapping up the piece, an amazing inter-generational face-off was happening underneath London. Banksy, the globally famous street artist whose passion for social criticism is paralleled only by the aggressiveness of his self-promotion, had painted over a decades-old piece by the locally famous 1980s graffiti writer ROBBO. The Wall Street Journal just did an insightful feature on ROBBO, who came out of retirement for a little retribution. Back in the day, ROBBO laments while at a Banksy auction, few could anticipate that graffiti and its instincts could be so effectively monetized. (Be sure to check out the WSJ slideshow.)

* * *
Today and Tomorrow has shots of another cat-and-mouse contest, this one pitting MOBSTR against the all-too-obliging Newcastle City Council.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Hua Hsu teaches in the English Department at Vassar College and writes about music, sports, and culture. More

Hua Hsu teaches in the English Department at Vassar College and writes about music, sports, and culture. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Bookforum, Slate, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe Ideas section and The Wire (for whom he writes a bi-monthly column). He is on the editorial board for the New Literary History of America.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

It's the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In