In the past decade, street art has transformed from a practice carried out by anonymous creators, seen by some as vandalism, into a commercial enterprise and a respectable part of the international art market. One of the richest movements in street art has been the development of an alternative, crafts-based, three-dimensional movement, broadly identified as Street Craft. This new generation of artists is creating uncommissioned, site-specific works employing a range of art and craft techniques, including weaving, crocheting, sculpting, painting, gardening, light installation, and more.
Street Craft brings together twenty-eight different artists from different countries whose work has redefined what street art can be. By diversifying materials and techniques, Street Craft artists are pushing beyond the two-dimensionality of graffiti and mural-painting, many of them using craft techniques to bring inventive beauty to bland urban surroundings. Tasha Lewis’s blue butterfly swarms decorate derelict corners of Indianapolis and New York, and Mademoiselle Maurice’s origami and lace graffiti beautifies the streets of Paris and Hong Kong. Other artists create sophisticated urban interventions bearing their personal tags, such as the artist SpiderTag, who intertwines sturdy rope and nails to construct abstract graffiti in Madrid, and GorillaLighting, who haunts Berlin’s industrial estates with impermanent projections.
Each artist’s profile includes project descriptions, artist statements, and a selection of photographs of their work: a document of the vibrant panorama of Street Craft, which, like the art form itself, engages with its audience in new and exciting ways.
From yarn bombing to appliqué, gardening to stenciled light projections, origami to cross-stitch, miniatures, and book sculpting, Kuittinen takes us far beyond street art in its most widely understood form (graffiti tags)…A solid primer on the subject for both burgeoning artists and fans.
— Library Journal
A gorgeous new hardcover. Twenty-eight artists in all are engagingly represented here. A solid, informative overview of the global scene. Lets each artist tell his or her own story among the stunning, often inspirational images of what they’ve wrought. Street Craft gets our highest recommendation.
— The Austin Chronicle
In the landscape of street art, graffiti paved the way for guerrilla gardening and yarnbombing. Kuittinen thoughtfully explores this evolution, offering a catalog of highly ephemeral art that has popped up worldwide in potholes, on lampposts and, yes, on the sides of abandoned buildings.
— Chicago Tribune
These artists …represent a worthy phenomenon, and Kuittinen smartly gives most of the collection’s space over to images and artist statements, providing a number of insights into their practices.
— Publishers Weekly
In many jurisdictions, street craft is considered vandalism. Kuittinen’s gallery of volunteer art might inspire a more generous appraisal.
— The Boston Globe
A beautiful book.
— Portland Book Review
With detailed photos and personal statements from artists around the globe, even familiar projects …are seen anew in this refreshing, comprehensive look at radical craft practice.
— American Craft
Through illustrations of their colorful, sculptural work, accompanied by artist statements and descriptions of their practice, Kuittinen suggests that these artists are expanding the definition of street art.
— Public Art Review
Riikka Kuittinen is the curator and writer behind the touring exhibition Street Art: Contemporary Prints that originated at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She is a contributor to Photomonitor and the editor of the Tosca Photography Fund catalogues.