Trespass: Looking at the History of Uncommissioned Art
By Susan Michals
Last night at the Taschen bookstore in Los Angeles, Ethel Seno, critic and Senior Editor of Paper Magazine Carlo McCormick and Marc and Sara Schiller of the Wooster Collective came out –- along with over 300 eager fans — to celebrate their take on the new rebels of the art world in their book Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Art. The tome is a collaboration celebrating the global phenomenon of graffiti and unsanctioned art and a historical retrospective of sorts and discusses the methods behind the art of spray painting and the impact the genre had on the art world for nearly four generations. Featured works include pieces by artists including Guerrilla Girls, Ron English, Skullphone, Shepard Fairey, and Banksy.
“There are a lot if street art books, but no books that put street art into historical context and take a broader view of the movement to include performance, interventions, protests and graffiti,” said Sara Schiller, who together with husband Mark curated the majority of the images in Trespass. “The way this stuff works in our urban environment is, it’s an interruption,” mused McCormick, who wrote and titled the book, (while Ethel Seno was the editor who pulled it all together and now is working with MOCA’s Jeffrey Deitch, who came in support, as well as the co-curators of his upcoming show “Art in the Streets”, Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose). “It’s an intervention,” added McCormick. “Making people question reality; that’s the ultimate provocation and the best way to reach them.”
The book includes dozens of previously unpublished artworks and photographs, as well as an exclusive preface by the ever elusive Banksy. While he wasn’t there, (or maybe he was; we’ll never know) many of the artists in the book were on hand including Ron English, the aforementioned Skullphone, and photographer Craig R. Stecyk, who were all thrilled at the chance to participate. “… We were able to focus on unauthorized pieces which take into account a specific motivation of the artist,” said Ms. Schiller about her street art literary homage. “These artists risk arrest and spend time and money to make art that may only last minutes. This aspect needed to be examined.”