Tagging as an Artform
Subway Art - 25th Anniversary Edition is a large-format book that shows, in vivid detail, the graffiti movement in NYC in the '70s and '80s. Photographers Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfont captured the early days of street art done by kids who invented it. There are over 150 full-color photographs in this book. Although focued on subway art, the graffiti movement on the streets of urban American has been adapted and refined since those early days. There's even a YouTube author interview that you can see here.
As a book about the art only, it's a good coffee table book. As a glorification of what basically amounts to the vandalism of public works, it causes me some concern. Don't get me wrong, I think there are some beautiful pieces on alleyway walls, but, can't this sort of thing be part of commissioned pieces and not simply vandalism? I feel it would give these talented artists some sort of direction and future in this realm.
Other than my rant on this sort of thing, Subway Art has some really beautiful images contained in it. If, like me, you can let go of the notion of urban blight, you'll really like this book.