What started as simple street movement, a way to assert individuality and pride, has blossomed into much more: Graffiti is everywhere. From Sprite commercials to The Source magazine to Soho art galleries, the elements and vernacular of the graffiti aesthetic are apparent in today's society. The Art of Getting Over: Graffiti at the Millennium examines graffiti's influence from its earliest days to its undeniable ubiquity now. Written by insider Stephen Powers, it includes a general history, in-depth interviews with both the progenitors of the form and current artists, and full-color illustrations of the most important works over the last 30 years. Unlike other subcultures that have been corrupted by the media and the mainstream, graffiti has maintained its sense of the underground and its clandestine feel. The purity and integrity that have defined the graffiti writer's mission have never faltered. The Art of Getting Over offers an unprecedented glimpse into this deeply affecting urban art form.
Stretched across city walls and along rooftops, Stephen Powers's colorful large-scale murals sneak up on you. "Open your eyes / I see the sunrise," "If you were here I'd be home," "Forever begins when you say yes." What at first looks like nothing as much as an advertisement suddenly becomes something grander and more mysterious—a hand-painted love letter at billboard size. Combining community activism and public art, Powers and his team of sign mechanics collaborate with a neighborhood's residents to create visual jingles— sincere and often poignant affirmations and confessions that reflect the collective hopes and dreams of the host community. A Love Letter to the City gathers the artist's powerful public art project for the first time, including murals on the walls and rooftops of Brooklyn and Syracuse, New York; Philadelphia; Dublin and Belfast, Ireland; São Paolo, Brazil, and Johannesburg, South Africa.