L.A. Street Artists Converge on Book Soup. Hey – “Check Your Spray Cans At the Door”

Jim Daichendt and L.A.’s Legendary Street Artists Come Out In The Open . (But only for 2 hours)

Jim Daichendt was at Book Soup to celebrate his new book on Los Angeles Street Art. The event drew a crowd of street artists, many of whom have some of their works illustrated in the book. Luckily for us, photographers spent years taking photos of these fleeting images. The most prolific, “Lord Jim” (Stefan Kloo), has spent over a decade at this.  He describes himself as “a picture maker who figures someone needs to keep an eye on things.”

Stay Up book

The title of the book “Stay Up” is what many of us wish would happen – but only too often the artwork is painted over very quickly.  Jim’s sumptuous book, packed solid with those great colorful graphics, takes some time to go through.  It is at once historic, in the sense that it is a history of street art in Los Angeles, and it is also instructive on many levels.  Exploring and explaining the lines between “graffiti” and “street art” is not as black or white an explanation as you would at first think.  The lines at times are blurred, the “pure” graffiti, with its statement of turf, group, or community, verses the street art, often with its ties to the art community, art for hire, and art for recognition.  Both graffiti and street art can be political or make a personal statement.  Jim devotes some time exploring both the similarities and the differences between these art forms.

Jim’s timeline of significant art milestones in Los Angeles includes some amazing entries that are sometimes astounding.  Like when the Los Angeles City Council banned modern art as “communist propaganda”.  Go ahead and laugh it up, but they are still doing some crazy things to this very day, like banning newsstands from selling cigarettes or candy.  Yeah, believe it or not. Men and women so dumb and insignificant to the real world that the street artists even ignore them.  I expect the Council to declare graffiti and street art acts of terror, appoint Dick Cheney as new Police Chief, and send perps to Guantanamo without trial.  A marker or empty spray can in your car will cause a drone to home in on you.

The book’s foreword is written by “Smear”, a long-time L.A. graffiti dude and street artist.  He writes a very entertaining and descriptive piece on his night time adventures with markers and spray cans.

Book Soup personnel passed some copies of the book around and got the street artists to sign the copies. They may have a few left, but don’t wait too long.  The only other way to get these books signed is by cruising the mean streets of L.A. in the middle of the night, looking to see art in the process of creation.  And really, dudes, what are the chances of that?

Watch the event:  click here to see on youtube: Street Artists

Or click on window to see here:

Click on this link to go to Book Soup and reserve your copy!

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