It’s been a best-of-times/worst-of-times scenario for street art in the city that gave it birth. On the one hand, Gotham has largely been deserted during the lockdown as people shelter in place, making it easier for artists to take a more guerrilla approach to tagging—as opposed to, say, waiting for sanctioned opportunities like the Bowery Wall. On the other hand, there are fewer people around to appreciate the creations. Social media, though, continues to play a major role in promoting the new works.
In any case, street artists are continuing to put murals and posters up, many of which are commenting on our surreal times. And the genre is finding expression in unexpected ways, as well—like, for example, turning up in coloring books.
Such is the case for a two-volume downloadable set of street art coloring books available for free from WallWorks, a contemporary art gallery in the Bronx, which describes itself as a space for “mixing ‘downtown’ sensibility with ‘uptown’ style.” Contributors to the book include a who’s who of graffiti legends from the last 50 years, including OG godfathers of the genre such as John “Crash” Martos and Chis “Daze” Ellis. Other big names include Lady Pink, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf. Together, their run the gamut of street art’s visual vocabulary from classic Wild Style tags to cutting-edge abstractions.
You can download the books here, and check out a few of the pages below in the meantime.
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