Brassai became interested in graffiti in the 1930s. At that time, he published several examples in the review Minotaure accompanied by commentary. It became a lifelong obssession: he continued to photograph graffiti and expand these remarks in various texts right up to his death. The present publication presents both texts and pictures, taking as its starting point the book Graffiti Brassai published in Germany in 1960 and in France following an exhibition of his photographs staged in New York, London, Milan, Baden-Baden, Frankfurt, Hanover, and Paris. Together with a number of unknown fragments by Brassai, this album also includes pages from notebooks kept by the photographer in which he sketched the graffiti he encountered in Paris, keeping track of their many transformations. Brassai's photographs and texts focus on the magical creativity he found on wall after wall and on the major themes which are like a distillation of all life (from birth, through love, to death), and whose "primitivism," following on the discovery of African art, was to prove such an enduring influence on Miro, Dubuffet, and Taples, artists who took much inspiration from the wall. One of Brassai's most important works, Graffiti presents side by side the texts and photographs the photographer devoted to this "art of the street."
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