‘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 Berlin’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, “Stencil Nation” 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.
“Stencils have a mystery to them,” Howze says. “Most of the people that make them don’t put their name on them, so there’s not much vanity in them. The placement of stencils makes them really interesting.”
A Greenville native, Howze is in the midst of a book tour to promote “Stencil Nation.” The events feature slide presentations of art featured in the text, with Howze riffing about the style’s virtues and vices.
“They give a voice to the voiceless,” Howze says. “These artists feel they’re partial owners of those walls—it’s their community, their city, their streets.”
According to Howze, stencils date back 35,000 (!) years. In modern times, Argentina, San Francisco, Paris and Berlin have all served as hotspots. Howze’s favorite stencil artists include Californian Scott Williams, who fashions pop art inspired designs.