John Reviews: Textura Dos


This review starts with a tangent, I’m afraid. Or maybe the rest of this will be tangential to this little story, depending on how strict you want to be with your definitions.

In any case, here it is: I have a bad case of Progressive Procrastination, which is characterized by the subject finding it increasingly easy to put something off the longer they have already done so. If any of my former professors are reading this, you now have an explanation for all of those times you found my essays slipped under your office doors roughly five minutes after the last possible second that they were due, still warm from the printer and held together with a hair clip I found on the ground on the way from the computer lab. This is also the reason that Textura Dos has been sitting on my coffee table for over a month instead of being long-since reviewed. Oh, the ignominity of my affliction.

All of this would be irrelevant and would only serve as a pitiful excuse to the nice folks at who sent me the book in the first place except that this one time, my horrible habits have paid off! More on that later, though – first, let me tell you about the book.

In Textura Dos, Matt Fox-Tucker and Guilherme Zauith explore the street art of Buenos Aires, Argentina, presenting a series of photographs of some of the most striking and beautiful pieces in the city, arranged geographically. Each section of the book contains a pocket history of the barrio that it is concerned with and details the type of art that is most prevalent on its respective streets. The book also contains a history of street art in Buenos Aires that gives some context for the sheer amount of graffiti that can be found in that city, and includes bonus downloads of art textures for use in your own projects. All of this is very interesting and enlightening (and English-Spanish bilingual!) but the real stars of the book are of course the photographs of the almost universally wonderful pieces that can be found on a bewildering variety of the city’s surfaces, ranging from stencils and tags to enormous and intricate portraits that cover the walls of disused factories and warehouses.

Which brings me back to my procrastination problems. Fact is, having Textura Dos sitting on my coffee table for a month has spawned a pretty fascinating series of conversations about the pros and cons of graffiti, something that I never would have pegged to be such a devisive topic for what is a generally like-minded group of people. I found myself somewhere in between my friend Tubby - who believes that all flat surfaces could do with a dose of sprayed-on beuatification - and my girlfriend, who lumps the most poorly-executed Sharpie tag in with the most sublimely beautiful mural as unconscionable vandalism. To be fair to her, she is the only one of us who actually owns property, but I still have to wish that there was a bit more of the beauty in this book to be found in my city.

Check out some of Buenos Aires' street art here.