Posts Tagged ‘urban art’

Events November/December

Friday, October 29th, 2010

All November:  NaNoWriMo! Write a 50000 word novel in 30 days!

Tuesday, November 2nd: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham will be talking about his sixth and latest book, By Nightfall, at the University of Amsterdam from 20.00 hrs onwards.  See the John Adams Institute website for all the details.

Friday, November 5th: Urban artist King Adz will visit Hotel V to sign his newest book Street Knowledge, from 17.00 – 19.00 hrs.  See the separate blog post with all the details, and who to mail to sign up for the event.

Saturday, November 6th: Authors Zia Kohn and Joyce Lagerweij come to ABC Amsterdam to present their book Concrete Messages, from 15.00 hrs onwards.  See the separate blog post for all the details.

Wednesday, November 10th: ABC is in the WildWe will be at Paard van Troje in Den Haag to support the concert given by Nneka in honor of the activist Ken Saro-Wiwa (and also to sell his books, of course), starting at 18.3o hrs.

Wednesday November 17th – Saturday November 20th: The Crossing Border Festival will take place in Den Haag.  This mish-mash of musicians and authors has been a long-standing feature of the cultural agenda in Den Haag, and this year promises not to disappoint, either.  Artists scheduled to appear are Rufus Wainwright, Wim de Bie, DBC Pierre, Roddy Doyle, Anna Driver, Jamie Lidell, and Michael Madsen, to name a very few.

Thursday, November 18th: Pianist Lang Lang will present his autobiography Journey of a Thousand Miles (and play a little?) at De Rode Hoed in Amsterdam, starting at 20.00 hrs.  See the John Adams Institute website for all the details.

Thursday, November 25th: Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 30th: Tattoo artist extraordinaire Kat Von D will be at ABC Amsterdam to sign her newest book The Tattoo Chronicles, from 18.00 – 20.00 hrs.  See the separate post for all the details.

Tuesday, November 30th: Watch the TEDx Amsterdam conference live at the ABC Treehouse in Amsterdam!  It’s free, but first come, first serve, so get there early if you want to catch the lectures.  See the separate post for all the details.

Wednesday, December 1st: Author Lionel Shriver will visit Spui25 in Amsterdam at the invitation of the John Adams Institute.  Her gut-wrenching novel We Need to Talk About Kevin won the Orange Prize in 2005, and her latest, So Much For That, has been shortlisted for this year’s National Book Award.  Go see her!  See the John Adams website for more information.

Thursday, December 2nd: Author Wladimir Kaminer will visit Border Kitchen in Den Haag in honor of the Dutch translation of his latest novel Es gab keinen Sex im Sozialismus.  As far as I can see only one of his books has so far been translated into English: Russian DiscoSee the Border Kitchen website for more information.

Thursday, December 2nd: Palestinian Ambassador Afif Safieh will sign his book The Peace Process: From Breakthrough to Breakdown at the ABC in Den Haag from 19.30 – 20.30 hrs.  See the separate blog post for all the details.

Saturday, December 4th: And again!  Palestinian Ambassador Afif Safieh will present and sign his book The Peace Process: From Breakthrough to Breakdown, this time at the ABC Treehouse in Amsterdam, from 13.30 until 17.00 hrs.  See the separate blog post for all the details.

Tuesday, December 14th: Filmmaker Spike Lee will visit Amsterdam at the invitation of the John Adams Institute.  Not much information is available right now about what he will be presenting or talking about (I’m guessing it might have to do something with Spike Lee: Do The Right Thing, a book published in December in honor of the 20th anniversary of the game-changing movie of the same name), but visit their website for updates.

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.

War of Words: The work of the WOW graffiti group

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

WOW is a graffiti crew founded in Utrecht in 1989 who  started spray-painting Dutch trains with their work. Their colorful, large and detailed pieces, the likes of which had never been seen before in The Netherlands made an incredible visual impact.

WOW’s work has previously been published in black and white –  in 1990 in Bomber Megazine  for example – but it has never before been published in color.

Now a new publication – War Of Words – collects 20 years of urban grafitti from this ground-breaking group in a full-color limited-edition book tocelebrate their 21st anniversary. The book is in the unusual form of a tabloid newspaper –  reflecting the immediacy and transience  of graffiti –  and comes with a screen-printed protective envelope.

Just 1500 copies of War of Words will be printed. 325  copies will be available for sale at The American Book Center and a handful of other exclusive points around the world. After reserving a few copies for themselves, the group burned every single remaning copy of War of Words from their print run. You can see them go up in flames in the video below.