Posts Tagged ‘grafitti’

ABC Meets: Zia Kohn and Joyce Lagerweij, authors of Urban Art book Concrete Messages

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Banksy’s paintings on the Israeli-Palestinian separation barrier paved the way for a new wave of artists from around the world. Banksy was the first. He was soon followed by several street artists who wanted to showcase their work in one of the world’s most conflicted areas.

The 725-kilometre-long separation barrier was supposed to be completed in 2010. Today, only some 60% has been built. The world is trying to coax the parties into new peace negotiations. It is unclear whether the barrier will ever be finished. But it is clear that the 8-metre-tall concrete barrier that already exists affects and provokes strong emotions. It is also clear that it has become something of a street art MOMA, with works by the greatest names. Art asks questions and clarifies the opposition. The thought of giving the local populace something pretty to look at clashes with the reluctance among many Palestinians to decorate the barrier and give new life to the debate on how to relate to the existence of the barrier. Should it be decorated or ignored? Or be preserved as a symbol of the conflict?

In the new book, Concrete Messages, artists from around the world talk about why they chose to travel to the West Bank to work on the barrier. What did they want to achieve, and what were their experiences in this conflict-ridden area?

Zia Kohn & Joyce Lagerweij will launch Concrete Messages: Street Art on the Israeli-Palestinian Separation Barrier at ABC Amsterdam this November.

Date: Saturday November 6th
Time: 3 pm
Place: The American Book Center, Spui 12, Amsterdam

ABC Meets: King Adz

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Together with the wonderful Hotel V, ABC will be helping King Adz launch his new book on Friday November 5th 2010.

King Adz is a filmmaker, author and creative director of 100prooftruth, an online magazine that celebrates urban culture.

His latest book, Street Knowledge is an encyclopedia of street culture, with information on old-school graffiti legends, avant-garde street artists, film-makers, DJ’s, designers, writers and poets who have influenced urban culture across the globe.

King Adz will present Street Knowledge on Friday November 5th at 7pm at Hotel V, Amsterdam. You can buy your copy of the book at one of our stores, or at the event.

If you’d like to attend the book launch, just send an e-mail to

ABC Meets: Street artists Slinkachu and Vhils

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Street artists Slinkachu and Vhils will be at our Amsterdam store next Friday to launch their new books. Details are still being finalised  and this post will be updated when we know more!

Date: Friday October 1st
Place: American Book Center, Spui 12, Amsterdam
Time: 5:30 pm


Slinkachu is not immediately recognisable as an Urban artist. His work is much more subtle than that of, say, Banksy or Shepard Fairey. And tinier. So tiny in fact that you may trample upon one of his pieces before you realize that you are stomping on a work of art. Slinkachu makes very, very small minature installations of miniscule people, which he then photographs in urban settings as though he has caught them unawares, going about their daily business.

To see examples of his work, watch the book trailer of Big Bad City, see his blog, or watch him talk about his work in an interview on

Mixing sharp humour with a delicious edge of melancholy, Big Bad City is a new (Dutch) edition  of Slinkachu’s book Little People in the City. It is a painstaking selection of photographs that appeared in the original edition, but also added work Slink has made since the publication of Little People in the City and some photographs he made in Amsterdam and Rotterdam especially for this Dutch edition.


Vhils is the name of a prolific Portuguese street artist whose  portraits are drilled into walls, or made using ink, bleach and found materials. His work became famous when on  of his pieces  appeared alongside a piece by Banksy at the Cans Festival in London in 2008, and made it to the front page of The Times.

To find out more, read an interview with him about his early grafitti in Portugal, see more work on his website, and watch the trailer for his new book, or this beautiful short film showing him at work.

His first book is a collection of his work from the last seven years, showing an intuitive and dynamic artist who doesn’t stand still. His constant explorations of materials, mark making and techniques day by day lead to yet more ideas and to beautiful and unexpected results.

We’ve Got Your Gifts Wrapped Up #9: Life in Pictures

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

wrapped2.jpgThey’re a productive lot, the ABC booksellers. When we asked them for gift ideas, they inundated us with lists; so many that we couldn’t post them all before Christmas! We were too busy manning the cash desks and sellingbooks, to actually write about them, and lots of good ideas were left unposted in my in-box.

Which is a shame, since we know you shop at ABC all year round for presents, and the ABC-ers had some great ideas! If you’re ever stumped for what to buy, just click on ‘gifts’ on the category list in the sidebar to see all of our ideas. Our recommendations are also a good place to start.

Jasper, Amsterdam’s Art, Film & TV and Animation buyer compiled such a brilliant, useful, comprehensive list of gift ideas for art and film fans, that I just had to post it as soon as I recovered from all that turkey and wine and chivvied myself back to work.

Here are some of the most common gift problems Jasper hears, and the most common (and successful) answers he gives!