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Our city streets are the largest art gallery in the world, where many of today's best artists exhibit their work freely for the public to enjoy. But every day great pieces of art are defaced, cleaned away or battered by the elements. Global Street Art is building an amazing archive to record and catalogue this art so it can be enjoyed for many more years to come.
Dr. Lee Bofkin, the co-founder of Global Street Art, has spent most of the past few years documenting street art all over the world - his archive consists of over 60,000 photos from more than 20 countries. This incredible snapshot of contemporary street art will form the basis for the Global Street Art book.
As well as compiling a staggering archive of street art images, Lee has a PhD in evolutionary mathematics, so each photograph in the Global Street Art archive has been exhaustively classified by artist, technique, location, content (and more). The archive allows the Global Street Art book to examine key themes in street art across the world in a way that no other book has previously been able to explore.
Aside from demonstrating the skill, wit and brilliance of so many of the world’s best street artists, Global Street Art explains how street art (including graffiti) has developed to this level, interviewing some of the most important luminaries in the field from across the world, from artists and academics to festival organizers. Global Street Art goes on to discuss where the movement is heading and why we can expect our cities to be painted more in future.
Global Street Art is not only an amazing coffee table book, it is the seminal text that coincides with the advent of a new era of public art.
In addition to the interviews and articles, Lee also shares some of his best travel stories, from the SWAT teams in the favelas of Rio, to barking back at stray dogs in Lisbon and getting wet feet in the city rivers of Spain - all while trying not to get robbed or arrested.
GlobalStreetArt.com was offered more than one book deal this year and we chose Unbound. Only by working with Unbound do we have the luxury of speaking with our readers before the book is published. We want to have feedback from street art fans before the book comes out so we can make it the best possible street art book. We want the opportunity to hear readers’ opinions, to make sure we’ve credited the right artists and to make sure the most important topics have been covered.
The Global Street Art Walls Project
Dr. Lee Bofkin is a member of the UK’s top breakdance crew the 'Soul Mavericks’. After competing both nationally and internationally for a number of years, Lee injured his knee in a competition, ending his dancing career overnight. Lee immediately picked up a camera and started obsessively documenting street art and graffiti around the world.
Whilst he was dancing Lee was also a full-time scientist at Cambridge University, where he completed his PhD in evolutionary mathematics in 2005. This led him into a finance career in LA and a number of other cities around the world. Every time Lee travelled for work he took as many graffiti photos as he could on the side.
Lee met his business partner, a private investor with whom he founded Global Street Art. Lee’s business partner enabled Lee to keep travelling and documenting graffiti around the world. In the past few years Lee has taken over 60,000 street art photos in some 20 countries.
Lee co-founded Global Street Art as a formal institution in February 2012, taking on a full-time web developer to help build an online museum dedicated to preserving a visual record of street art around the world. Lee has applied his background in evolution and classification to the Global Street Art archive, building the best-classified archive of its kind ever produced.
Global Street Art also runs the Walls Project, a social project that has obtained permission for over 80 new pieces of street art to be painted in East London this year so far.
By Lee Bofkin
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