Trespass: Uncommissioned Public Art

Updates from and letters to the editor

Teaser 7

We collected so much material in researching Trespass that we weren’t able to include all the photos and references in the book. Following is a selection. Of those we couldn’t get in, my favorite is Akay’s project in which the artist, Made and Kidpele collected secrets from people and engraved them around Stockholm — on street signs, subway trash cans, and even park benches. The series pushes the limit of Street Art by being permanent, and it goes beautifully with the theme of making visible what is otherwise unseen.

Akay, Made, Kidpele, Secrets, Stockhom, 2009
Akay, Made & Kidpele, Stockholm, 2009

Nicaragua, 1980s Photo by Susan Meiselas
Political Stencils, Nicaragua, 1980s, Photo by Susan Meiselas

Avant, "Drive-In Show", Soho, New York, 1984
Avant, “Drive-In Show”, Soho, New York, 1984

New York City abandoned pier for artists
David Wojnorowicz and Keith Haring in Piers, New York, 1980s
Photo by Timothy Greathouse

The last two photos are from New York City in the 1980s — the Avant group painted a parking lot in Soho in the “Drive-in Show”, a direct placement of art outside the gallery complete with a list of titles and prices painted on the parking booth. Also during this time, Trespass artists such as David Wojnarowicz and Vito Acconci brought art to the abandoned Hudson piers in creating alternative spaces.
While graffiti and Street Art have gotten a lot of attention in recent years, history shows us that it’s not entirely new. I still sorely miss photos of graffiti by King Mob in 1970s London, and hope to bring more images and histories together in the follow-up title to Trespass.

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May 2010

It’s much easier to fight for a vision when there are others who share it. Now that Trespass is ready for print and will be coming off presses in China next month, and then freighted around the world to warehouses for distribution, I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on the process. First I have to say that it’s wonderful that Taschen’s sales team is excited about the title as they are on the front lines now to get it into stores for you — which is significant as it took nearly a year for the publisher to commit to the title when we started*. So, with regard to our intentions, I feel we have already achieved something in communicating our ideas. One of those goals was certainly to bring the material to new audiences that may not have given a second thought to graffiti and Street Art, and perhaps even dismissed it as child’s play. We knew that there was a historical precedent for Trespass, which we weren’t seeing put together in a comprehensive way in other books on the subject, which would be difficult in any case with the differences in medium, internal divisions like graffiti’s beatings vs the success of Street Art — and because these public expressions are very much connected to local communities. What grounded us, besides our belief that it was necessary to connect the dots and bridge the various drives informing the movement, was the research, risks, and the conversations we invested in to keep the discourse active and as open as we could. I am most happy that with patience and craft, the creative direction wasn’t compromised. There are a lot of really beautiful ideas in Trespass. And I believe that change, regardless of the inevitable resistance to it, happens first in people’s minds. I also believe that “uncommissioned public art” reflects a change in society, rather than being top-down, is influenced better from ground-up, and it is the work of so many individuals that pave the way.

*Full story to come.

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Artists in the book

I’ve posted the full list of contributors under ~List of Artists on the side panel

Above, Vito Acconci, Adams & Itso, John Ahearn, Aiko, Alëxone, Anti-Advertising Agency, Armsrock, Nele Azevedo, Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat (SAMO), Bast, Dan Bergeron, Billboard Liberation Front, Blade, Blek le Rat, Blind, Blu, Chaz Bojorquez, Brassaï, Brave New Alps / Fabio Franz, Bruce High Quality Foundation, bs.as.stencil, Paolo Buggiani, buZ blurr, C215, Graziano Cecchini, Linus Coraggio, Cornbread, COST, Crateman, Cum*, CutUp, D*Face, Zhang Dali, Konstantin Danilov, DC Gecko, The Decapitator, DOMA, Dondi, Brad Downey, Amanda Eicher, Eine, Elbow-Toe, Eltono, Ron English, Jason Eppink, Erosie, ESPO, Ethos, Evereman, Fafi, Faile, Shepard Fairey, John Fekner, Cayetano Ferrer, Chris ‘Freedom’ Pape, Futura, Anna Garfourth, Ghost Bike Project, Graffiti Research Lab, Alex Grey, Group Material, Guerilla Girls, Guerrilla Gardening, Tyree Guyton, Richard Hambleton, David Hammons, Paul Harfleet, Keith Haring, Joshua Allen Harris, Ellen Harvey, Ken Hiratsuka, Hitotzuki / Kami & Sasu, Abbie Hoffman, Jenny Holzer, Becky Howland, Tehching Hsieh, Improv Everywhere, Influenza, Invader, Mark Jenkins, Jeroen Jongeleen (Influenza), JR, KAWS, Laura Keeble, Know Hope, Kim Köster, Joey Krebs, Krink, Barbara Kruger, Tseng Kwong Chi, Tony Labat, Steve Lambert, Ji Lee, Mischa Leinkauf, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Lister, The London Police, Martin Luther, Masquerade, Gordon Matta-Clark, Brennan McGaffey, Barry McGee (Twist), M-City / Mariusz Waras, Ann Messner, Kathryn Miller, Filippo Minelli, Miss Van, Miss.Tic, Peter Missing, Momo, Monochrom, Monster Project, Nuria Mora, Mr A, Harald Naegeli (Sprayer of Zurich), Jack Napier, NeckFace, Nick Walker, Paul Notzold, Object Orange, Dennis Oppenheim, Alexander Orion, Os Gemeos, Tom Otterness, p.t.t.red, PAD/D, The Pansy Project, Philippe Petit, Ernest Pignon Ernest, Posterchild, Provo, Adam Purple, Lee Quinones, Rebar, Reclaim the Streets, Leon Reid IV, REVS, Richard Reynolds, Duke Riley, Roadsworth, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, Michael Roman, Jerry Rubin, Christy Rupp, Sam3, Magna Sayeg, Charles Simonds, Joey Skaggs, Skewville, Skullphone, Slinkachu, Smith & Sane, Shannon Spanhake, Gabriel Specter, Sprinkle Brigade, Chris Stain, Tobias Starke, C.R. Stecyk, stikman, SupaKitch, Judith Supine, Swoon, Thundercut, Jean Tinguely, Edina Todoki / Mosstika, Krystian ‘Truth’ Czaplicki, Spencer Tunick, Anton van Dalen, JJ Veronis, Vinchen, Vómito Attack, DAVe Warnke, David Wells, Matthias Wermke, Hans Winkler, Dan Witz, WK, Krzysztof Wodiczko, David Wojnarowicz, The Yes Men, ZASD, ZEVS, Zezão

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Teaser 6

Some more historical photos follow for you to preview Trespass, from the chapters Urban Folk, Deviant Signs, and Conquest of Space:


Harald Naegeli, Cologne, 1981, Photo: Hubert Maessen


Jean-Michel Basquiat / SAMO, New York City, c. 1980, Photo: Lisa Kahane


COST, New York City, 1992


Futura, Dondi, London, 1982, Photo: Janette Beckman


Jean Tinguely, Paris, 1960, Courtesy Museum Tinguely


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Teaser 5

The search for many of our images did not conclude until the last rounds of editing, what we were able to fit in, to define the limits of Trespass. One of our biggest challenges was how to divide the images into chapters, and one of my favorites is the RTS photo by Julia Guest, as an example of “Environmental Reclamations”: Under the hooped skirt, Reclaim the Streets plant trees in the fast lane of the M41 highway, London. More on each to come in the book.


Duke Riley, ‘After the Battle of Brooklyn’, New York City, 2007


Graziano Cecchini, Rome, 2007, Photo: Antonio Amendola


Reclaim the Streets, London, 1996, Photo: Julia Guest


Hans Winkler, ‘p.p.t.red in Disneyland’, Anaheim, 2001

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Historical Teaser 4

A couple images on my mind since Miami last week. It was great learn how to drive a tractor lift, and spend time with Carlo, Martha Cooper, and the many artists who flew out for the mural projects and graffitti events during Art Basel.


Cornbread, ‘Grandfather of Graff’, Philadelphia, 1972


Lee Quinones, New York City, 1981, Photo: Martha Cooper


Becky Howland, ‘Grass Arches’, New York City, 1970s


Barry McGee, San Francisco, 1993, Photo: KRINK


Ron English, Billboard, 1990s

Will be previewing some more contemporary work in the next Trespass post. Thanks for checking back at the end of each week.

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Historical Teaser 3

As I’ve been thinking about “controversy” lately, here’s a selection of some more political material Trespass has of course not shied away from.
I remember talking to Barabara Kruger early on in the research, who said, “There was so much more at stake for us.”


Situationiste Slogan, ‘Beneath the pavement, the beach‘, Paris, 1968


Billboard Liberation Front, “Shit Happens”, 1989


Peter Missing, New York City, 1980s, Photo: Clayton Patterson


Barbara Kruger, “Pope Fetus II”, New York City, 1989


Joey Krebs aka Phantom Street Artist, Los Angeles, 1990s, Photo: Anthony Freidkin

Please note these historical images are a selection among hundreds of contemporary images featured in Trespass: Uncommissioned Public Art

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Historical Teaser 2

More Trespass highlights, these photos from 1980s New York City.
Note all images featured in previews may not appear in the printed book.


Crash & John Fekner, New York City, Photo: Lisa Kahane


David Wojnarowicz, “Burning House”, New York City, Courtesy PPOW


Keith Haring, New York City, 1982, Photo: Tseng Kwong Chi


Jean-Michael Basquiat, New York City, 1982, Photo: Martha Cooper


David Hammons, “Blizzard Ball Sale”, New York City, 1983


Richard Hambleton, New York City, 1982, Photo: Franc Palaia


Stay tuned for another preview next Friday!


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Historical Teaser

Excited to start posting a selection of images every Friday to give you a preview of what’s coming in Trespass!


Provos, Amsterdam, 1960s, Photo: Cor Jaring


Ann Messner, “Crosswalk”, New York City, 1976


Craig Stecyk, Ocean Park, 1974, Photo: Anthony Friedkin


Anton Van Dalen, “Riot Police”, New York City, 1980s


Krzysztof Wodiczko, Projection, Stuttgart, 1983

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