Andrea Nelli - GRAFFITI A NEW YORK curated by: Andrea Caputo graphic design: Andrea Caputo Architecture Office & Research Agency editorial management: Elisa Sabatinelli images post production: Zum Studio, Milan www.zumstudio.com text translation: Alyce Aldige Proofreading: Gillian Price published by: GLOBCOM - WHOLE TRAIN PRESS www.gcurbanworld.it - www.wholetrain.eu USA & CANADA distribution: SCB Distributors printed on: Munken Print White and GardaMatt Art supported by: LOTRAS S.R.L. www.lotras.it All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical (including photocopy, film or video recording, internet posting), without the prior permission in written from the Publisher. First edition 2012 // ISBN 978-88-976400-0-4
Andrea Nelli was twenty years old when he first went to New York, and he saw BIG-O 116, EVIL ERF 14, RAT FINK 131, SUPER KOOL 223 on the walls. They looked like undecipherable codes, written everywhere with black spray. Afterword he understood that they were always the same names, repeated throughout the city. It was in the early 70's and all the trains run completely covered by colored and giant graffiti. The subway and Manhattan walls were covered, too. Andrea started shooting photos, because captured by these compositions and he succeeded in getting in touch with different cliques of writers who introduced him in the New York scene. Big names as COCO 144 guided him. Still student, Andre Nelli decided to focus his thesis on this just born movement, but already spreading out constantly. More than a 100 photos of names and historical pieces were captured by Andrea, that form a test which presents the phenomenon at its beginning. Through his work, we get to know a guy with a sour look, who is trying to find his way among names, gangs, walls and subway, tag and through up, to get to the same conclusion that is still valid nowadays 40 years after: "to get your Name around". The rule of graffiti.
In 1973, this phenomenon of graffiti runs rampant, reaching its peak that summer. At the beginning of the year, the graffiti piece grows in epic proportions. This innovation is owed to black writers from the Bronx like SUPER COOL 223, RIFF 70(WORM/CASH), and PHASE 2. The press defined this new genre as "Grand Design" but the kids called it Top to Bottom or more simply T to B, alluding to the fact that graffiti vertically covers the full height of a subway car. The external of the train is no longer covered with small, monochrome writings of different sizes, but by a single, multi-colored graffiti. Some of these T to B pieces are so elaborate and complex in form that the New York Times puts forth the hypothesis that they are products of a collaboration between professional artists and graffiti writers. In February of 1973, the Boy Scouts form an ecological program that attempts, in vain, to diminish the amount of graffiti by sending out teams of cleaners. In January and February of the same year, the police perform 282 arrests. Still, the record shows two favorable interventions in graffiti art. The first is by an unknown artist in search of publicity, Tazio D'Allegro, who associates graffiti to urban waste and the aesthetics of "slop art," a sort of pop art that shifts the lens from the consumer to waste. The second intervention is by P. R. Paterson who sees graffiti as a spontaneous protest against the bureaucracy of the subway. On March 26th, 1973, New York Magazine publishes an article by R. Goldstein that, in my view, discusses for the first time a series of interpretations of the phenomenon. Goldstein announces that graffiti is the first authentic youth culture born on the streets since rock'n'roll in the 1950's. In the same issue of the magazine, painter Claes Oldenburg comments: "You are in a grey and sad subway station when all the sudden a graffiti train breaks, bringing with it the light of a bunch of tropical flowers. You think: it's anarchy, and you ask yourself if trains will keep working. But then you get used to it". The same issue of the New York Magazine depicts the winning graffiti of the "Taki Award", an award organized by journalists for graffiti writers. Thus, a trend is emerging. It is significant that the journalist's choices for the award fall upon two writers, SPIN and STOP, who the kids call toys, or amateurs.
In concurrence to his studies in Graphic Design and Architecture, Andrea Caputo has under taken a personal study of street culture and the consequent social and aesthetic influences, actively participating in the International movement with the publication of editorial and expository projects. Andrea Caputo is the author of All City Writers, an anthology above the Graffiti movement in Europe. The volume, published by Critiques Livres / Paris, tries to document the evolution and the consequences of a countercultural phenomenon that over the course of a few decades provoked a change in the aesthetics and the rules of communication of modern day society.
Finalmente la Whole Train Press sbarca in Sicilia con GRAFFITI A NEW YORK, presso il nuovo spazio culturale indipendente RITMO, verrł presentato ufficialmente il volume.
Crackers Magazine 25 Ć finalmente arrivato nei 1.000 negozi piŁ stilosi di tutta Italia! In questo nuovo numero troverete un prezioso articolo su Graffiti a New York con una piccola interview ad Andrea Caputo.
Graffiti VS Crisis, un incontro/dibattito ed Esposizione di alcune fotografie originali del Libro GRAFFITI A NEW YORK di Andrea Nelli presso S.a.l.e. Docks, Magazzini del Sale a Punta della Dogana, Venezia.
Graffiti VS Crisis, un incontro/dibattito ed esposizione presso S.a.l.e. Docks, Magazzini del Sale a Punta della Dogana, Venezia.
"Did ever see a woman" Ć la mostra di Andrea Nelli a cura di Tiziana Musi, un'esposizione che racconta la New York degli anni '70, culla della urban culture.
Non mancate a questo appuntamento writers, taggers, hip hoppers o semplici appassionati del Graffiti Writing e delle funkie stories dei seventies. ?Questo libro Ć considerato uno dei primi ad aver raccontato l'inizio del fenomeno + rivoluzionario dell'arte cosidetta di strada.
"Did ever see a woman" Ć la mostra di Andrea Nelli a cura di Tiziana Musi, un'esposizione che racconta la New York degli anni '70, culla della urban culture contemporanea.
Numerosi partecipanti a questo favoloso momento celebrativo di una pregiata riedizione curata da Andrea Caputo (gia' curatore di AllCity Writers) per la casa editrice Whole train Press, si sono ritrovati nel tempio della graffiti culture a Milano, SPECTRUM.
Graffiti a New York Ć uno dei primi libri in assoluto sui graffiti. CioĆ in pratica Andrea Nelli tornato a New York quando aveva poco piŁ di vent'anni, ha beccato personaggi tipo, che ne so, COCO 144 e si Ć fatto mille fotine alle subway pittate, alle tag e ai bombing in giro. Era talmente preso bene che nel 1973 si Ć fatto la tesi di laurea su sta roba.
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