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BOOK REVIEW: 'Street Renegades: New Underground Art' by Francesca Gavin

Graffiti has become so familiar now that it almost ceases to register as an intervention in the urban landscape. Whether its creator is making a political stand, marking territory or merely killing time, even the most ornate tag seldom diverts the hardened city dweller’s attention. What if, though, the interventionist abandoned the wall or the hoarding or the train doors and started working in three-dimensional space? What if unexpected objects appeared among the street furniture, clambered up the architecture and loitered at curb sides?

In Street Renegades: New Underground Art Francesca Gavin brings together interviews and images of work by thirty artists who all operate beyond the tolerant liberalism of the gallery. While their artists’ strategies and intentions vary – from the dissidence of illegal golf ball traffic signs, pirate projections and interloping billboards, to the provocation of unsolicited public fountains and pairs of legs sticking out of a rubbish bins, to the sheer charm of swathes of knitting that hug street lamps or tiny people halted by a splat of bird shit or sitting nonchalantly in the hole of a plug socket – the effects are invariably funny or startling or strangely familiar.

Brad Downey, Caliper Boy, Cut Up, Eine, El Tono, Faile, Cayetano Ferrer, Samuel François, G from Paris, Michael Genovese, Jorge Rodriguez Gerada, Graffiti Research Lab, Influenza, Invader, Mark Jenkins, Leopold Kessler, Knitta, Carla Ly, Adam Neate, Part 2, Psalm, Robin Rhode, Skullphone, Slinkachu, Judith Supine, Thought Police, Thundercut, Truth, Dan Witz, Zezao

Francesca Gavin is a freelance features writer, critic and editor. She is currently art editor at Dazed & Confused, associate editor at Marmalade and guest editor of Into The Storm (...). She has written features and reviews for Another, Another Man, Blueprint, i-D, Art Review, The Big Issue, Citizen K, Intersection, Soma, The Times, Timeout, Upstreet and Wonderland. She also contributes to a large number of websites including BBC collective (...), The Guardian online and Artkrush.

200 illustrations, 200 in colour
ISBN 978 1856695299

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