Early Book Review: Graffiti Murals Exploring the Impacts of Street Art by Patrick Verel

Graffiti Murals Exploring the Impacts of Street Art by Patrick Verel is a non fiction book that is to be released on August 28 2015. This visually appealing book includes six case studies conducted in New York City, Trenton, and Jersey City. It explores how graffiti murals are created and what role they play in a city where buffing illegal graffiti is a lucrative business. The author interviewed people affected on a daily basis by the murals at sites around the metropolitan area, as well as property owners who have allowed muralists to paint their property in hopes the graffiti murals would serve as a deterrent to vandalism, and provide a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to buffing. An analysis informed by cultural Marxism and supported by street photography suggests a radical departure from traditional New York City policy: instead of spending money exclusively on the elimination of illegal graffiti, resources should also be devoted to the creation of graffiti murals. In the end, graffiti removal teams and mural promoters are pursuing the same goal: making the city a more visually appealing place.

Graffiti Murals Exploring the Impacts of Street Art is a very interesting study of graffiti, both legal and illegal. The interviews and impressions from a variety of people gives readers a good understanding of the role all graffiti can play in cities, and for individuals. The balance between decoration and vandalism can be extremely fine, but the policies and public sentiment do not always agree. I will admit that while the text was informative and well written, it was the collection of photographs included that initially caught my eye, and had me eager to see what else the book held. The artistic talent that is evident in some of that artwork is simply astounding. Regardless of if you appreciate sanctioned, or unsanctioned, graffiti and murals you will be amazed at some of the color and craftsmanship of the works displayed by a variety of artists.

Graffiti Murals Exploring the Impacts of Street Art had me hook with the image on the cover and the research that went into crafting this book. honestly, while the information was intriguing and well organized, I think the book is worth the time and money to just look at the included photographs. 

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