Art, Book May 17, 2011 By Jennifer Pappas

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By AISLAP from Nuevo Mundo, Copyright Gestalten 2011

nm title Nuevo Mundo
Last year I spent six unstructured months winding through Latin America from Costa Rica down to the southern tip of Brazil. Amidst my wanderings, there were several constants I found lurking in the many cities, coastlines and thoroughfares I passed through. One of those constants was the all-encompassing presence of public art — vast, unheralded and makeshift swatches of it everywhere I looked. Stencils, murals, wheat pastings, stickers and crude throw-ups… Entire streets, buildings, staircases and dumpsters — from Valparaíso, Chile to Bogota, Colombia — were covered in some form of visual expression.
     Nuevo Mundo: Latin American Street Art by Maximilliano Ruiz has just been released in the United States and is the first book to offer a complete documentation of current street art trends endemic to Latin America. Featuring such heavyweights as Os Gêmeos, Bastardilla, Vitché, Titi Freak and Run Don’t Walk, the book is divided by country and displays the full spectrum of each region’s artistic multiplicity. Each page acts as a vignette or picture postcard from the artists, accompanied by a short, explanatory message that though intended to provide context, generally lets the image speak for itself. Turning the pages, it’s evident that Latin America remains an evocative breeding ground for public art. Thanks to a long history of socio-political adversity, economic instability, lengthy dictatorships and indigenous cultures, there’s something blatantly alive and hungry in each image.

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