New Street Craft Book Features Local Yarnbomber Magda Sayeg
We’d recommend it anyway, because it’s just that good
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
3:45PM, Tue. Mar. 3, 2015
The publishers Thames & Hudson make a fine habit of producing books – well-researched, beautifully designed books – about art and culture.
Maybe you’re already aware of this? And, similarly, maybe you’re already aware of the urban street-craft phenomenon – especially when it comes to examples of yarnbombing and those figurative tape-sculptures of Mark Jenkins?
Now it’s our good fortune, as readers and connoisseurs of art, that Thames & Hudson and street craft have combined in the form of a gorgeous new hardcover called, of course, Street Craft.
In this newly released volume, curator Riikka Kuittinen offers more than 200 glossy pages, vivid with 250 full-color photographs, that feature the work of guerrilla street artists whose creations extend beyond, that have evolved beyond, the two-dimensional realm of spray-paint and stencil graffiti. Those unsettling sculptures of Jenkins; the stitched-up enhancements of Philadelphia’s Ishknits and Virginia’s Knitorious M.E.G. and Austin’s own Magda Sayeg and others; the sculpted iron forms of Denmark’s Tejn; the ceramic-embedded lacework of Poland’s NeSpoon; the live-moss silhouettes of NYC-based Mosstika; the landscape-altering interventions of South Africa’s R1.
And, as they say, many more: Twenty-eight artists in all are engagingly represented here.
And when we say “engagingly represented,” that’s exactly what we mean. Read Kuittinen’s introduction to this printborne exhibition and you’ll get a solid, informative overview of the global scene – no prolix art-school bullshit left over from someone’s graduating thesis – and you’ll think, okay, Kuittinen can tell me about all of the artists that follow in these pages and I’ll be happy to know her take on the displayed works. But the curator follows no self-promoting POV agenda, instead providing the briefest intro to each artist, just enough to establish context, and then lets each artist tell his or her own story among the stunning, often inspirational images of what they’ve wrought.
If this isn’t a terrific way to present a scene, a movement, a multipartite and internationally wide-ranging creative trend … well, then we don’t know what is. Thames & Hudson's Street Craft book gets our highest recommendation for your entertainment and edification – and for that of any art-minded friends you have.