André Saraiva: Graffiti Life
If there was ever a stylish man and innovator in the European graffiti scene, André is the epicenter. With Paris as the canvas, his eponymous character of a smiling stick figure with top hat and his forays into nightclubs and the fashion world, make him an icon beyond the street works. What he demonstrated was that this culture could not only be fun but a viable path to the broader impact of how we experience a city. His work seamlessly synchronizes in collaborations with Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Colette as well as galleries. When we think of trailblazers, he is one of the key figures, resulting in his monograph, André Saraiva: Graffiti Life, out now via Rizzoli, as a seminal document of graffiti’s international growth over the last 50 years.
While vividly portraying him, it chronicles what graffiti has become. In a visual diary and journey through the decades, André is at the center, the frontman of his many clubs and art shows, larger than life. And the book itself is an absolute thrill. Pop-ups, graphically exciting and bold, capture what is often lost when street artists are memorialized in monographic form. This is about fun, it’s about the thrill of creation and the endless possibilities that come when outsider culture joins the mainstream. If this art form is about shattering expectations, this book is the ideal companion. In over 320 pages, you will understand more about André and experience the beauty of good book design and the power of paper as a publishing medium. How perfect that it's associated with an artist who brought a little bit of humor and fun to the streets. —Evan Pricco