Street Art Santiago is a beautiful, eye-dropping photography book that includes over 200 images and 80 interviews. Santiago is an evolved graffiti scene and has many murals that are beautiful and eye-catching. What makes this book unique is the fact that the author is also an artist. Photographer and Stencil graffiti artist Lord K2 has documented 14 different neighborhoods around the capital of Chile. He has taken intimate photographs of these graffiti artists at work and has had some intimate conversations with local artists. This vibrant book shows how a community has come together through graffiti art.
As an artist myself, I must say that I am a huge fan of street art. I have never composed any graffiti myself, but have many friends in the industry. I love checking out urban art in my community. This book brought culture to my life as I was able to see what street art looks like in Chile. I found that the author did a great job with the photographs and the content. I was brought into the story and felt like I was actually in Chile looking at the work.
The photography in this book is beyond beautiful. I took a few photography classes while in college and I appreciate the author’s eye for color. I found the cover front and back to stand out. I love the usage of colors and design on the front cover. The focus is on what looks to be a house or business, the brown door is so inviting and is almost asking for us readers to open up the door and read the book. I think that the way that the author integrated the graffiti art on the cover, along with the title is very captivating. It made me want to know more about the story behind this book and what was inside the pages. I love the back cover image as well.
The pictures are large and vibrant throughout every page. I found that the author was very talented in selecting quotes from the artists and highlighting them on the page. My favorite quote from a graffiti artist was, “I don’t perceive it as vandalism or as a form of leaving an ideological mark, nor do I do it to break the law.” I think that this quote is so significant to this body of work and to graffiti art in general. These artists are not doing the work to break the law, but to be creative. I have always thought of art as being a way to express myself creatively. This quote truly says it all.
I would also like to add that I love how the author got up and personal shots of the artists. The action shots are probably some of my favorites. You can see the artists climbing on buildings and completing their masterpieces. They are standing on windows and in between buildings to create these wondrous pieces of work. I loved the sense of teamwork between the artists. On one page we see that three artists are working together to finish a piece.
Overall, I just loved this book. Photography mixed with interviews from real artists is always an amazing combination. As an artist and a writer, I can truly appreciate this piece of work.