Paint, Paste, Sticker

Chicago Public Library Exhibit Poster
Chicago Public Library Exhibit Poster, 2012

This year the Chicago art world mourned the loss of Brooks Golden (1974-2014), a street artist featured with Nice One in a 2012 exhibit at the Chicago Public Library curated by Oscar Arriola. Brooks’ legacy lives on in the library’s Chicago Artists’ Archive, which has a rich file on him.

Chicago has a long and complicated history with graffiti and street art. The contentious art form has been featured in museum and gallery exhibits here going back to the 1970s. And while the city runs a graffiti removal program formerly known as Mayor Daley’s Graffiti Blasters, it also hosted a recent street art exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Learn more about the fascinating history and activate your inner street artist with these selections.

The History of American Graffiti traces the development of graffiti from its beginnings to the present day, with over a thousand photographs of works around the U.S. Local sections include Chicago and East Chicago, Indiana.

The most famous street artist in the world, UK-based Banksy’s latest book, Banksy, features his politically subversive paintings accompanied by writings about the artist and his ideology.

The underground classic Bomb the Suburbs contains a 21-year-old graffiti writer’s fascinating treatise on hip-hop culture, race and class in Chicago.

Chicago Street Art was published on the occasion of a 2011 street art exhibit at the Chicago Urban Art Society and features gorgeous photographs of street art around our city.