‘Stencil Nation’ book tour tags the Upstate
Graffiti around the world in a day
By Matt Wake
December 3, 2008
Link to original Metromix post
When: 5 p.m. Dec. 4
The Open Book
110 S. Pleasantburg Drive
When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5
149 S. Daniel Morgan Ave.
San Francisco author Russell Howze has found spray paint salvation on Berlinâ€™s Reichstag and on the side of a Clemson apartment building. Launching his Web site, www.stencilarchive.org in 2002, Howze is a noted curator of stencils, a sub-genre of graffiti which utilizes stencils to produce poignant (and expedient) imagery.
His 192-page ode to the form, â€œStencil Nationâ€ was published in June. The tome boasts more than 500 full-color photos of works from more than 350 artists hailing from 28 nations. A second printing is already in the works.
â€œStencils have a mystery to them,â€ Howze says. â€œMost of the people that make them donâ€™t put their name on them, so thereâ€™s not much vanity in them. The placement of stencils makes them really interesting.â€
A Greenville native, Howze is in the midst of a book tour to promote â€œStencil Nation.â€ The events feature slide presentations of art featured in the text, with Howze riffing about the styleâ€™s virtues and vices.
â€œThey give a voice to the voiceless,â€ Howze says. â€œThese artists feel theyâ€™re partial owners of those wallsâ€”itâ€™s their community, their city, their streets.â€
According to Howze, stencils date back 35,000 (!) years. In modern times, Argentina, San Francisco, Paris and Berlin have all served as hotspots. Howzeâ€™s favorite stencil artists include Californian Scott Williams, who fashions pop art inspired designs.