JAMES PRIGOFF - Photographer/Artist

James Prigoff is an author, photographer and lecturer on the subject of worldwide urban murals. He is one of the most important photographers of aerosol art on the international scene. He started worldwide documentation of murals in the late 1960's. His interest would eventually lead him to aerosol art (graffiti). His personal photographs comprise one of the most extensive collections of aerosol art in the world. During the late 1970s and the early 1980s, Prigoff documented many aerosol art movements (from their infancy) across the United States and abroad.

Important photographs from his collection appear in the book Spraycan Art published by Thames and Hudson in 1987, which he co-authored with photographer Henry Chalfant. This book would join the ranks of the films Wild Style and Style Wars and the book Subway Art in triggering the birth of additional aerosol art movements throughout the world. Prigoff is widely respected within the international aerosol art community. He developed close relationships with many writers enabling him to gain a perspective usually unobtainable to people outside the aerosol art community.

Included in Prigoff's vast collection are significant works by artists LEE Quinones (NYC), SEEN (NYC), MODE 2 (France), BANDO (France), SHOE and DELTA (Amsterdam), DZINE (Chicago), TWIST (San Francisco), Rough, STYLO, and PART 2 (England), LOOMIT (Germany), DREAM (RIP-Oakland), HEX and SLICK (Los Angeles) and DIZNEY (San Francisco and Harlem, NYC) and many others.

In addition to numerous San Francisco Bay Area radio and television appearances, he has lectured in many museums and educational institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Vancouver Art Museum and Stanford University. He has screened literally hundreds of free slide shows for the artists themselves.

He co-authored the books Painting the Towns- Murals of California and Walls of Heritage - Walls of Pride- History of African American Murals with Robin Dunitz. He was pleased to include works by BLADE, NOC, KASE 2, QUIK, A-ONE, VULCAN, SPON, E-ZONE and DIZNEY in this now critically acclaimed book. He has also written the forewords for the books Graffiti LA by Steve Grody And Graffiti New York by Eric Felisbret (DEAL CIA). Prigoff is still actively documenting public art today.

Interview with James Prigoff Conducted by @149st November 15, 2000.

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