Bold and Riveting: The Art of Spray Paint by Lori Zimmer

The Art of Spray Paint by Lori Zimmer.

Curator and Editor of all things au courant, Lori Zimmer, has written a delightfully thorough survey in The Art of Spray Paint. As the title suggests, turning the pages uncovers a fascinating world of art created with – you guessed it – spray paint. Emblazoned on its pages are artworks of every scale from spray-painted works on canvas to intriguing art installations overtaking entire cityscapes. The book features over twenty influential spray paint artists such as Nick Walker and Tristan Eaton, Logan Hicks and Hueman alongside emerging artists like BR163. Pages also uncover spray paint art meccas starting with the famous Wynwood Walls in Miami and branching off to lesser-known spots such as Stavanger, Norway and Djerba, Tunisia.

The true measure of the book’s impact is found not only in its stunning art images, ranging in theme from abstract to photo-realism, but in the variety of approaches Zimmer successfully unifies in introducing the reader to the potent force that is spray paint as an artistic medium.

Zac Braun, Untitled (Wrinkle 04), 2010. Spray paint, paper and graphite on panel.

Located throughout the book’s sections, which touch on ground-breaking artists, graffiti landmarks and unique techniques in equal measure, are DIY experiments in spray paint art. Shown step by step, these features provide a behind-the-scenes look as well as serving as a guide to creating first-time spray paint projects. For an art form so publicly accessible – art made with spray paint is found everywhere from crowded megacities to small town squares – having easy projects for readers to complete truly brings this democratic art form home. It’s small touches like this, along with the emphasis on creating context for artists’ unique practices, that make The Art of Spray Paint a treasure not only for the street art savvy but for anyone interested in having a peek into the universe of spray paint art.

Conor Harrington, Breaking News and Opposing Views, 2015. Oil and spray paint on linen.

The variety of styles employed by artists using spray paint is truly phenomenal. Far from adopting a uniform approach, each artist featured here has found a way to make the medium their own. From applying the paint with traditional paintbrushes to using layered stencils to imbue works with ethereal effects, the diversity of artistic approaches to spray paint is dazzling. Graffiti tags feature alongside sweeping figurative murals with roots ranging from classic Greek sculptures to Dutch oil paintings.

The best part about The Art of Spray Paint? Encountering the unexpected. A playful and educated romp through artists’ studios and artworks in the realm of spray paint, The Art of Spray Paint is focused but diverse, and ready to serve as your hands-on guide to talented artists, spray paint installation travel guide and handy DIY spray paint tutorial all in one handsome and compact tome.

The Art of Spray Paint by Lori Zimmer is available on and at local bookstores nationwide from January 2017.

Here is a direct link to buy:

Matt Eaton, SUPERSTRUCTURE No. 43, 2015. Spray paint on linen.
Hueman, Wynwood Walls, 2016. Miami, Florida.
Audra Lambert

Audra Lambert

Audra Lambert is an arts writer and independent curator who has worked on interdisciplinary projects involving painting, performance, new media and installation art. Her recent curatorial projects have included The Subtle Image group figurative exhibit at Dejavu Gallery, Reflecting Our City for the White Roof Project at the Center for Social Innovation, and participating in the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts’ A Wicked Problem. In addition to these projects she has served as Project Coordinator for More Art, a socially engaged nonprofit based in NYC, and she has contributed to Art Nerd, Examiner, AXS, and WhiteHot Magazine, among others. With an anticipated 2016 M.A. in Art History, Modern & Contemporary Art from CCNY, her primary focus is on installation art and contemporary art in the public sphere.

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