This was a missed opportunity to take a real look at the artistic side of tagging in Detroit. As a lifelong Detroiter, it’s been an interesting journey watching graffiti change from being considered vandalism to an appreciated art. There are beautiful pieces of real art all over the city and maybe five of them are in this book. The other 220 pages are pictures are simply tags of artists pseudonyms. There’s very little story here and that’s a shame. Artist Malt was the only one really featured in writing and that came out to less than two paragraphs. The familiar names are there – Gasm, Chaos,etc. – but no story.
You can make a book of photographs AND the stories behind the artists and their work. It doesn’t have to be either/or. Unfortunately, this is a book of taggers tagging for tagging sake and little more. There’s so much history in each section of the city highlighted in this book and the only information given is 2- paragraph summaries that barely scratch the surface. That’s too bad because there’s so much more to tell.