The history of graffiti in Greece 1984 – 1994
In 1984 the graffiti writing culture has been transported from New York City to the whole world in movies like Wild Style, Beat Street and through books like Subway Art. Since a few years there is a growing interest in the impact which hip hop had in the first years after its triumphal arrival in Europe. Writers from the Netherlands, Italy, the UK, Germany, etc. dig for the roots and try to research for the earliest existing documents to capture and conserve them in books and movies.
Up to now Greece has not been in focus of that research and it still is quite underrepresented if you try to find out something about the early European hip hop movement. So Xaritonas Tsamantakis started working on a book on the real oldschool beginnings as a tribute to the work of the people he always admired. After years of research, the scanning of 15,000 photos and interviews he and Orestis Pagkalos published “The history of graffiti in Greece” in 2016.
The product is a 160 paged treasure including countless great photographic documents of the hip hop scene from 1984 to 1994. The amount of mostly high quality footage even from the 1980s is astonishing, especially if you realize that these shots are taken in times when almost no one owned a camera. The photographs show performing breakdance crews, copied sketches from NYC idols, backpieces and classy shots of youngsters proudly posing in front of their first pieces.
But the most interesting aspect of this book might be the fact, that while most of the European countries had an undeniable mid-80s style influence by circulating sketches from BANDO and his CTK crewmembers, you will not find any of these influences here. Even up to 1994 the writers kept an pure and naive touch to their styles and characters which still look more like late 70s and early 80s NYC graff then anything you will find in the rest of Europe at that time.
Besides the great amount of often big sized photographs you will find texts by many of the earliest Greek writers such as PALADIN, DEE71, CYPHER, JASONE, WEBSTER and many more. This book is an impressive documentation of the Greek oldschool graffiti scene which has not been spotlighted up to now, what makes it especially interesting.
160 pages, 24 x 28,1 cm
Language: English and Greek
Release date: 2016
Research: Xaritonas Tsamantakis
Editing: Orestis Pagkalos
Publisher: futura Publications
Price: 25 €