The G-Word

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Since graffiti became a public phenomenon in the 1970s, there has always been the paradox of its illegal occurrence in the streets and on trains on the one hand and being an young and vivid form of expression in an art context on the other hand. Jacob Kimvall, writer, art-historian and co-founder of the Swedish Underground Productions magazine focused on that specific topic in his 2014 Ph.D. thesis.

In “The G-Word: Virtuosity and Violation, Negotiating and Transforming Graffiti.” Kimvall draws a chronological line from the first attempts to fit writers into the New York 70s art- and gallery world, over to illegal writings on the Berlin Wall in the 80s up to Stockholms Zero Tolerance policy in the 90s and 2000s.

In the chosen examples the author managed to find interesting cases in which graffiti has been praised as art form for example by the C.I.A., Stockholm museums and the City of New York, while often the same pieces have been produced by breaking the law.

On 220 pages this book gives insight in the often contradictory handling of institutions with the topic over the last decades. Kimvall precisely analyzes the diversity of standpoints officials chose when graffiti (or the fight against it) fits into their agenda. With “The G-Word” Kimvall participates in the everlasting discussion on the question if graffiti is art or vandalism by uncovering examples in which the answer has been “yes”.

220 pages, 17,0 x 24,0 cm
Language: English
Release date: November 2014
Publisher: Dokument Press

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