It took a long time for graffiti to spread from subway cars and walls to the internationally recognized art form it is today, and this book documented the early beginnings of the outlawed movement from the get. Originally published in 1973, the Faith of Graffiti features the moving photography of Jon Naar and the wonderfully poetic musings of Norman Mailer who offers insights like this:
What a quintessential marriage of cool and style to write your name in giant separate living letters, large as animals, lythe as snakes, mysterious as Arabic and Chinese curls of alphabet.
Publisher HarperCollins will reprint the book for the first time in decades this December. It will get a spiffy new cover* and contain an additional 32 pages of Naar’s stunning photography. In the meantime, you can always browse some the original here and wonder if the resale value of the contemporary version will be anything like its predecessor.
*A special hardcover edition of the book that was signed by the authors and contributors was also released in 1974.