# The Faith of Graffiti // Norman Mailer // 1974 [pictures]

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# The Faith of Graffiti // Norman Mailer // 1974 [pictures]

Postby g » November 22nd, 2006, 10:15 am

people talks a lot about " must to have " books...

this is THE core.
very important text and roots (& often sampled) pictures.

THE FAITH OF GRAFFITI
photography by Mervyn Kurlansky & Jon Naar
text by Norman Mailer
edited in 1974 by Praeger Publishers
ISBN : 0275716100
96 pages
still on sale ( but very used and expensive ) HERE

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Postby eko » November 22nd, 2006, 10:41 am

I knew some of these pictures like most of us.
But i must admit i didn't know this book.
Thanks for sharing it with us G.
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Postby ///EROSIE/// » November 22nd, 2006, 1:41 pm

For the collectors; there is the American version AND a Dutch/English version...I only have the American one, unfortunately :wink:
The Dutch one is called NY graffiti, but has the same setup. ( thanks to Phet 15, who has it)
Amazing (language-wise) to start with that they published a Dutch version in 1974...when graffiti was so premature in Holland/Europe/rest of the world.

Jon Naar was the photographer for this book;

http://www.rogallery.com/Naar_Jon/Naar-hm.htm

he had an exhibition in Oss, Holland at the end of last year...but i missed it unfortunately..

The amazing thing is that the text in the book covers all different fields; socialogical, artistic etc. instead of a inward-focus, since it describes a "new phenomena" To me it is because of that still one of the best publications...even after 30 years, compared to for instance Graffiti World etc..
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More Classic Books

Postby Tristan » November 22nd, 2006, 9:05 pm

Thanks for sharing Erosie I don't have that one.

I've scanned some of my treasures though...

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Barcelona Murs (Barcelona Walls) by Genis Cano - 1991, published by Ajuntament de Barcelona. This book is a gem – due to its small print run it became the essential graffiti book for Barcelona. It is more than a book about graffiti – it looks deep in the history of Barcelona’s walls, looking at ancient signs and murals with a deep understanding of urban art. Its bibliography is the best piece of research in the field.

Pochoir a la Une – 1986 – This is a treasured personal gift from Blek le Rat that documents the original Paris stencil graffiti scene. The style is black and white fanzine and it’s classic 80s. A lot of the work looks good today with artists such as Blek, Surface Point, Epsilon and Miss Tic – a must for pochoiristas and 80s obsessives.

Art In Transit – Subway Drawings by Keith Haring, Harmony Books, 1984. Another out of print book but you can find similar imprints. Although many people don’t see Keith Haring as a graffiti artist I loved this period of his work. For three years he found the perfect place to draw – on the empty billboard spaces on New York’s subway. He invented his own visual language and although it’s familiar now – it still rocks!
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Postby g » November 22nd, 2006, 9:49 pm

///EROSIE/// wrote:The amazing thing is that the text in the book covers all different fields; socialogical, artistic etc. instead of a inward-focus, since it describes a "new phenomena" To me it is because of that still one of the best publications...even after 30 years, compared to for instance Graffiti World etc..


Agnes B. a french clothes designer and art collectioneer
made a fat exhibition in Paris (2001? w/ Futura, OSgemeos, O'clock, BBC, Jonone, Aone, Mambo, etc...) and use the Norman Mailer text as a real statement to show graffiti as A MOUVEMENT.
I've never thought that a WRITER like him would create The True Vision of Graffiti.
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Oh Yes

Postby sinboy » November 23rd, 2006, 12:08 am

Sweet fucking christ, that's lovely that is. Cheers
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Norman Mailer

Postby Tristan » November 23rd, 2006, 7:32 am

No doubt Norman Mailer's text must be interesting to read from the perspective of a writer observing his surroundings in the early days of the New York. I've been trying to buy it from your link! Looks like the ultimate classic for this style.

I added just a few more books that I think are worth reading - for example Barcelona Murs has an excellent text that looks deep into the walls of the city and discovers graffiti made by sailors from the Middle Ages to early 20th century styles. Written by a professor of fine art. But probably as hard as the Faith of Graffiti to buy...
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Postby aeiou » November 23rd, 2006, 10:10 am

actually there are four versions. US, UK, NL and french. The french version has that famous photo of all the kids showing their names on the cover. NL and UK is the red cover, US is the green cover. Then there are hard covers and soft covers, and there is a signed "limited' version. (ohhh limited.. ;) )




///EROSIE/// wrote:For the collectors; there is the American version AND a Dutch/English version...I only have the American one, unfortunately :wink:
The Dutch one is called NY graffiti, but has the same setup. ( thanks to Phet 15, who has it)
Amazing (language-wise) to start with that they published a Dutch version in 1974...when graffiti was so premature in Holland/Europe/rest of the world.

Jon Naar was the photographer for this book;

http://www.rogallery.com/Naar_Jon/Naar-hm.htm

he had an exhibition in Oss, Holland at the end of last year...but i missed it unfortunately..

The amazing thing is that the text in the book covers all different fields; socialogical, artistic etc. instead of a inward-focus, since it describes a "new phenomena" To me it is because of that still one of the best publications...even after 30 years, compared to for instance Graffiti World etc..
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Postby ///EROSIE/// » November 23rd, 2006, 10:20 am

...NICE ONE! DIdn't know that...it just seemed strange to me there was for instance a Dutch one, but no french one...you have it?

That Keith Haring book looks interesting as well...( from what year is it, did he do the type on front himself for the book or is it an already existing image? )the most interesting phase of his work to me seemed allways the less documented...but probably also a hard one to get! Thanks.
i have all the mugs, socks, mousemats and kitchensupply, but this seems more like it :wink:

.. it is interesting to see the parralels between then and now. Ofcourse it is "cool" of agnes B to flirt with the ORIGINAL texts from an oldschool publication but it is strange to me that graffiti seems to be so well-documented ages ago, and now seems so much out of context sometimes. But probably also Agnes B should have got the point that time has changed... or did it? Instead of getting over-romantic about the beauty of a lost era ( that most of us didn't even see, or experience); EVEN in the 1974 publication there is an example of (ab)-using graffiti in a commercial way. ( although the punchline seems to be the not-so-cool-aspect of graffiti, instead of a flirt with the yoyo-trendy-urban-coolness) The use of an anti-vibe of graff in a commercial way seems to be different...but the fact that in 1974 they already used it in a commercial ( or more commercials ?) suggests graffiti already had quite some impact!

just like today.

but differently? :wink:

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Postby ///EROSIE/// » November 23rd, 2006, 10:23 am

Keith Haring; sorry, i missed it; 1984. He died in 1990 so maybe the answer seesm could be yes :wink: Will try to get that one as well! haha
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Postby pmh » November 23rd, 2006, 11:19 am

i have the green cover one (the faith of graffitti)...but i found my copy in my mums collection of books from the seventies - thanks mum!!! wasnt the red cover called 'watching my name go by' or am i thinking of another book? good thread by the way!
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Postby eko » November 23rd, 2006, 12:41 pm

Everybody seems to know the book and to own a copy ! :shock:

On the Volvo ad, graffiti is not shown as something cool, but as something dirty & dangerous. It is very different with graffiti commercials on MTV.
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Postby ///EROSIE/// » November 23rd, 2006, 1:11 pm

haha that was my point!

..but it IS used; if it is used apparently the ad-makers refer to an exsisting phenomena that a wide audience know of...amazing for 1974 that graff had grown to such an impact...

I am excited about graff being used in an add as something terrible. I mean...it is digusting to start with isnt it? :D

An interesting contrast with like you say; today's decorative graffiti.
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Postby nologo » November 23rd, 2006, 2:08 pm

at first - great thread!

i never heared bout this book - so it's a great discovery -

i just heard about an earlier videodocumentation of the seventies - before stylewars. some guys from munich (z-rok,scum,neon- "färberei posse") told me about it - so if anybody knows something more about it, please tell me.
i'm also collecting book titels about streetart and graff books on my website - so if anybody knows some more interesting books - write me too - the already existing booktitels you find on www.ak-47.de (go to the "theroy" part - then book "titels"
if anybody is good in german i would advise the book Street art berlin (1999) by bernhardt van treeck - not to mix up with that fucking book named "berlin street art"(2005) by s.zimmermann.
the original book of van treeck is about differnet artists that work on the street - illegal and legal - and not only graffstuff . if anybody knows not p.t.t.red - look into that book - they did great stuff .
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Postby g » November 23rd, 2006, 2:25 pm

...
i realize my mistake
8)

there was already a thread about bibliography...
THERE

...
at least it will be interesting to share an electronic version of Mailer's text.
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Postby nologo » November 23rd, 2006, 2:48 pm

thanx g-
the electronic text would be interesting - for sure !!!
maybe a thread on the ekosystem-forum about theoryworld of streetart and graffiti would great too - where all those smaller threads could be a part of.
and i feel a lot guys would be interessted.
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Street Art book

Postby Tristan » November 24th, 2006, 1:40 pm

I just remembered another book from 1985 which is interesting because it documents Street Art alongside Graffiti.

Street Art (Paperback) by Allan Schwartzman, Doubleday, ISBN: 0385199503

Pages here featuring John Fekner, Richard Hambleton, Basquiat, John Ahearn, Crash, Futura and others

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Postby ///EROSIE/// » November 24th, 2006, 2:40 pm

yes! Samo piece shot in the street. looks like an amazing book! It could almost be a contemporary publication..Is there a lot of text inside?
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text

Postby Tristan » November 24th, 2006, 7:15 pm

There's explainatory text throughout the book - so it's not just a picture book. Like you were saying before some of these older books were better written! Out of 112 pages there is 22 pages of mostly text.

There are things in it I never read anywhere else but otherwise it's pretty much a picture of Street Art, graffiti and Art in general in the mid-80s. So there are plenty of well known artists referred to such as Christo & Jenny Holzer. I found this copy second hand on the internet a few years ago...
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Postby nologo » November 24th, 2006, 7:29 pm

hmm samo - i'm not that great fan of basquiat's work - for me his short life was more a commercial thing of the art market - when i look at his work i don't see the great (street)artist , on whom all the art historians talk about .
But maybe it's just my opinion.
Hambelton is great . his shadow men are really rough and straight, especially the black one. an idea lots of street artists copied , but never reached the original.
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