Graffiti an der Line in Basel 1985–1990 (2nd edition)
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Whilst graffiti in Europe is present now for almost 40 years there seems to be a growing interest in the phenomenon’s origins in certain cities and countries which resulted in recent publications for example for Greece, Amsterdam, Madrid or Munich. The 2nd edition of “Graffiti an der Line in Basel” by Thierry Furger is the latest similar book and was released in September 2021. Although the 448 paged hardcover is only covering a five year period, the focus is not Basel’s graffiti beginnings but the history of the city’s legendary train line.
Even though the works have always been done without permission, today you can find the illegal gallery of line pieces by DARE, DREAM, SMASH137, KESY, JERS, ALEY and others as a tourist attraction on the city’s website. When it comes to graffiti the Basel train line is one of these magical spots writers from all over the world know, which might led to the idea to research its birth.
Starting in 1985 the book invites to join how writers started with naïve first attempts and got better piece by piece alongside the railway tracks. Each part of the line has an own chapter including apparently every piece ever painted there, quotes by writers, newspaper articles, sketches and little illustrations, showing exactly which works have been located where. The author managed to reconstruct year by year every layer of the walls and brought together a huge collection of photographs in an unbelievable high quality, fitted into a clean and clear layout.
The early works by writers like SCORPIO, DARE, ENDO, G204, JS ONE, MAGOO, ZOIS, REBEL and RTO help to understand how high quality pieces paved the way to let the Basel line become the unique illegal hall of fame spot which it still is to this day. “Graffiti an der Line in Basel” seems to be the most complete and detailed collection of photographic content to a city’s graffiti history yet.
The 2nd edition was released in September 2021 and includes new material on 16 additional pages. Once again the cover is designed inspired by an iconic spray can label from back in the days
448 pages, 30,2 x 21,5 cm, hardcover
Release date: September 2021
Publisher: Thierry Furger