A collection of some of the most sophisticated and challenging street art from around the world, these images fittingly come with the proviso that they have been gathered without the collaboration of the artists or the owners of the walls. The Beautiful Renaissance raises the obvious questions about how we perceive and interact with our environment, the economics and commercialism of art. It explores the change in perspective that comes when we cease passively accepting our dominant culture and identify with the subculture of street art. It also celebrates the demise of an era of big ideas, centralised and regulated commercial art, ushering in a pluralistic culture in which we can all participate.
The beauty of this particular renaissance is that in this selection the wheat has already been separated from the chaff. From Banksy’s work that appeared in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (and his battle with the Grey Ghost that sought to disappear it), to the lyrical prose of Elbow Toe and Dolk and Pobel’s decoration of some of the wilder corners of Norway, this is the ultimate coffee-table-sized collection of street art. Almost every page insists the viewer eschew theory and preconception to look at the image, look at the image, and look again at the image.
Untitled II. The Beautiful Renaissance Compiled by Gary Shove (Pro-Actif Communications) £19.95