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All City Writers | Book Review

October 27, 2009

ACW Book Cover

The  title, All City Writers, describes a vast research on the Writing movement, focusing particularly on the process of its exportation from New York to all of Europe during the 80s. The first part of the research analyzes how graffiti in media such as movies, videos, magazines, and books from New York influenced Europe. When images of the New York subway arrived in London, Paris, Munich and Amsterdam, a huge milestone was set: a first generat ion of European graffiti writers started to follow the letters, the method, the techniques, and the general lifestyle of New York in the 70s.

The whole project developed from the consideration that many of the stories that Graffiti writers experience are just lost in time. Other than the pictures of their pieces, the adventures, and sensations a writer lives through often disappear like so many other bits of oral culture. Expanding on this, All City Writers, picks up on a wide number of stories written by the founders of the international Graffiti trend: more than 620 articles accompanied by photos and illustrations set up an imposing work, mirroring a whole generation.

Early bombing in Amsterdam - ph credit Mark Todt

Pane and Phos from Berlin on the Rome subway-mid 90s-ph credit Trota

From the press release:

At the outset , the obsessive repetition of a tag and the search for urban fame became a widespread and spontaneous act, an infinite ego trip that was rarely dissociated from the reproduction of the chosen letters. In these pages, European writers abandon the compulsive act of tagging for a moment, to narrate the city and cast a personal eye – not always detached – on the trains, the streets and the urban surroundings that common citizens generally cannot or will not acknowledge. The chapters that compose this book focus on specific themes, comparable to the sections of a dail newspaper, presented here as special reports on the New York subway, the European network or the first urban st rongholds. The combination of these elements, including, among others, a detailed, in-depth description of the phenomenon’s explosion in Italy during the 90’s, provides a unique history of the variety of pathways they explored and documents the desires of an entire generation intent on describing and interpret ing their cultural movement. Through historic and detailed documentation deriving from a singular urban episode, the New York City Subway, All City Writers wants to investigate the evolution and the consequences of a countercul tural phenomenon, which in the last decades has provoked a change in the rules of aesthetics and communication in modern day society.

01 ACW Volume preview



On Saturday November 7th, All City Writers, a definitive anthology about the Graffiti movement, will be presented at LAP buildig – Lambretto Art Project, Milan – 6.00 p.m.

– 6.00 p.m: Press conference (by invitation only)

– 7.00 p.m: Video installation opening

The press conference will be limited at a restricted number of 150 places. Please RSVP at

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