Book Review: Street Art London – Steam 156
There is no shortage of books chronicling London’s street art scene. It’s an easy commission for a books editor — eye-catching images, the allure of the subculture, and the potential for sequels, given the ephemeral nature of the the art form. The latest publication — called Street Art London, though not to be confused with the website and company of the same name — paints its colours on the wall somewhat higher than similar books by enrolling the services of noted street art photographer Frank Malt, otherwise known as Steam 156. This fella’s been snapping graffiti and street art culture for around three decades, so knows how to frame a shot.
Street Art London is an A-Z of current artists putting their stuff up in the capital — some are Londoners, many are visitors, but all have made their mark on our streets over the past year or two. The big, obvious names are all included, but you’ll also thumb across lesser known characters, and put names to familiar pieces you’ve seen on the streets. For example, we’ve often chuckled at the bisected unicorn on Commercial Street, its rainbow guts brightening the horadings. Now we know it’s by Lush. We like this book very much, particularly as it’s the only publication we’ve ever seen that includes a photograph of Londonist Towers (a piece by Nemo adorns our outer office wall).
All is beautifully shot, offering as comprehensive and current a guide to London’s diverse street art scene as is possible in book form.
Street Art London by Frank Steam 156 Malt is out now from Dokument Press. A book launch and signing takes place at Signal Gallery, 7pm on 2 May.