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The Grifters™ Blog
Grifters Code: Documenting Modern Graffiti Writing

A book by Good Guy Boris

 

 

This book tells the story behind the creation of The Grifters, who in a short time have left a long lasting legacy within the graffiti community, pioneering the analogue aesthetic since it’s inception with it culminating in Grifters Code. In this they translated their analogue photography into a digital video format and used the internet for distribution, something entirely different to the normal ebb and flow of the graffiti world. The book goes on to chronicle the success story and birth of Good Guy Boris, explaining and defining the heritage of The Grifters and Grifters Code, the path that lead from its embryonic stages in the backwaters of Bulgaria, through to becoming a mainstay of graffiti photojournalism in the capital of France – and everything in-between.

Part of the focus of the book is Grifters Code; an episodic series of short films that broke the self-imposed and unwritten rules of vandalism, bringing to the viewer not merely the end result of a graffiti piece, but the whole adventure and mystique that surround the process. “Documenting Modern Graffiti Writing” is a testament not only to the evolution of The Grifters, but modern graffiti as we now know it.

As evidenced by its title, the author seeks to explain the motivations behind the documentation of modern day graffiti and explore the more meta concepts in the graffiti world, such as how The Grifters fuelled a resurgence in analogue photography within the graffiti community.

The book is clad in a cover literally made from the high visibility vests appropriated by the writers who infiltrate rail networks, and contains exclusive behind the scenes photos and unreleased works featuring Europe’s most renowned and infamous artists. As is a trait common of The Grifters, the book’s focus is one that encompasses the who, where and why of the ephemeral world of modern graffiti; not merely the what.

 

Available from 08 February 2017

20p.m. (GMT+1) [ Belgium / France / Germany / Italy / Netherlands / Spain timezones ]
US (EST – New York) – Wednesday 14p.m.
AUSTRALIA (AEDT – Sydney) – Thursday 06a.m.
Check your city timezone here.

 

The book release will be followed by live stream with commentary by the author.

Facebook event here.

Grifters Code: Documenting Modern Graffiti Writing

GRIFTERS CODE 6: Über Freaks

GRIFTERS CODE 6: Über Freaks

 

A film by Good Guy Boris

 

Synopsis

Über Freaks takes place deep in the heart of Berlin, and chronicles what it’s like to be part of a close knit group, who get their kicks by roping down buildings with the barest of safety precautions, climbing buildings by way of their exteriors, and lock-picking their way through the whole of the city and its Metro stations. The film can be considered a joyride for the viewer, as they are finally granted a backstage pass to the exclusive and hectic lifestyle of the Berlin Kidz, being privy to a whole world of adrenaline and thrill seeking that occurs just outside their apartment windows.

Story

The lead up to the finale of the Grifters Code series began way back at the end of 2013, when Boris originally started filming the sixth episode with the Parisian artist Saeyo. This venture was abruptly cut due to the legal issues faced by both the artist and the director during the time that they worked on the video.

A few months later, Boris released another video in conjunction with another Parisian writer – Cokney. A week after its release, on an early Monday morning, the French anti-graffiti police broke down the door and raided the flat where they both lived. After three days of questioning and threats, that ‘this will be the end of The Grifters’, Boris found himself held in indefinite custody in the largest prison in Europe, waiting for trial. The time he spent in isolation was put to good use, sharpening his body and mind, further planning the next steps of his career. He went on to spend four months there, which he later proclaimed in a sarcastic video statement as his “surprise holidays in not-even-1-star-Hotel”.

After his release, the Grifters Code series was no longer in Boris’ spectrum of interest. The mystery around Episode 4, the failure of Episode 6 with Saeyo to come to fruition, in conjunction with his imprisonment resulted in a stop gap, a period of time in which Boris’ point of view was forcibly given time to mature. Using this time wisely, Boris evolved new skills and a vision on how documenting should be made. He started working on new projects, leaving the Grifters Code how it stood, in the past.

In one of his projects, he gathered together The Grifters Collective for a conceptual book and exhibition entitled Graffiti Without Graffiti, which took place in Berlin. Whilst visiting Berlin for the show, he saw something that he already heard about from friends – the rooftops and the facades of buildings across the infamous neighbourhood of Kreuzberg were covered in Red & Blue tags, reminiscent of the Brazilian Pixadores. Boris had heard stories about the creators of these markings, and had watched their movie Berlin Kidz, which revealed a whole new level of graffiti writing – roping down buildings without concern for safety, train writing, free running – a montage of adrenaline fuelled actions.

But after discovering it with his own eyes, Boris became sure that this was to be the next subject he wanted to document and show to the world. The documentary was to replace the cancelled sixth episode of the Grifters Code, to end the unfinished saga with a milestone.

The series finale is summed up in the book Grifters Code – Documenting Modern Graffiti Writing, a detailed history on how the series changed the course of graffiti documentation worldwide, as Boris takes an opportunity to explain and define the legacy of his work. From The Grifters embryonic stages in the backwaters of Bulgaria going on to become a mainstay of graffiti photojournalism in the capital of France, the book chronicles the results of many years of hard work, from it’s humble beginnings to the international stage. With behind the scenes photos and unreleased material, Grifters Code – Documenting Modern Graffiti Writing is itself a product of its own evolution.

The adventures with the Berlin Kidz took Boris deep into the heart of Berlin, where he followed the writers roping down buildings without any safety precautions, climbing buildings by way of their exteriors, lock-picking their way through the whole city and its Metro stations. Boris sums up this joyride as “the most dangerous actions that he probably ever has captured with his camera.” With the proven experience and contacts Good Guy Boris wields, the viewer is allowed a backstage pass to the lifestyle of the Berlin Kidz, an exclusive insight only available to those ‘in the know’.

Über Freaks is an intense and thrilling experience captured though the eyes of Good Guy Boris, that reveals the passion of adrenaline seekers without bounds.

UBER FREAKS

About The Berlin Kidz

The Berlin Kidz have become infamous, shocking the graffiti world with extreme, adrenaline fuelled stunts and actions. With their red and blue tags proudly strung across the majority of the city’s rooftops and mysterious installations of bicycles locked up high on city landmarks, their presence in the city of Berlin cannot be ignored. A close knit and organised group, well connected with arguably the world’s biggest graffiti crew 1UP, have shot to the top of many peoples radars with their self-titled movie and appearances in the music videos of German rap star Kontra K. With skill sets far exceeding those of your standard graffiti writer, the Berlin Kidz go to extreme lengths to create their works; lock picking their way to lofty heights, only to dangle from them with ropes.

 

Premiere on:

08 February 2017

at grifterscode.thegrifters.org

20p.m. (GMT+1) [ Belgium / France / Germany / Italy / Netherlands / Spain timezones ]
US (EST – New York) – Wednesday 14p.m.
AUSTRALIA (AEDT – Sydney) – Thursday 06a.m.
Check your city timezone here.

GRAFFITI WITHOUT GRAFFITI - RESTOCK

We are happy to announce the long waited restock of our book Graffiti Without Graffiti.

GRAFFITI WITHOUT GRAFFITI BOOK COLLECTOR EDITION THEGRIFTERS

Graffiti Without Graffiti is a comprehensive and psychoanalytical dissection of the experiences found in the graffiti culture and lifestyle, without the graffiti pieces itself.

Each of the five authors has been challenged with a task - to use only 36 pages to show graffiti without the ability to depict the graffiti itself. The mix of exclusive footage, confrontational illustration and sophisticated text, reveals the charade surrounding the graffiti culture.

This book is the first monograph of The Grifters Collective currently comprised by the 1992 Collective, Badyear85, Eewan, Good Guy Boris, James Hattrick & Thorfine. Originally presented exclusively for the exhibition G.W.G at Urban Spree Gallery in July 2015.

All books are numbered and signed by the 5 Authors.

 

GRAFFITI WITHOUT GRAFFITI BOOK THE GRIFTERS COLLECTIVE COLLECTOR EDITION

GRAFFITI WITHOUT GRAFFITI BOOK THE GRIFTERS COLLECTIVE COLLECTOR EDITION

GRAFFITI WITHOUT GRAFFITI BOOK THE GRIFTERS COLLECTIVE COLLECTOR EDITION

GRAFFITI WITHOUT GRAFFITI BOOK THE GRIFTERS COLLECTIVE COLLECTOR EDITION

GRAFFITI WITHOUT GRAFFITI BOOK THE GRIFTERS COLLECTIVE COLLECTOR EDITION

GRAFFITI WITHOUT GRAFFITI BOOK THE GRIFTERS COLLECTIVE COLLECTOR EDITION

STORY:

THE FIRST PHOTO-BLOG BY THE GRIFTERS popped up on the Internet almost ten years ago, a project drawn from the psyche of a focused Eastern European. With the help of his friends, armed with nothing but point and shoot film cameras, The Grifters began documenting and reporting on the lifestyles of the people that surrounded them. Punctuating these reports with humor and irony, sarcasm and provocation, all the while captured with beautiful photography, The Grifters revealed a wholly new perspective on the current generation. The Grifters took an approach that nobody else was taking at the time, by portraying everything surrounding the act of graffiti, whilst avoiding the resulting graffiti itself. Highlighted by this approach is the realization that there are many more interesting moments and emotions to capture, other than only graffiti. The Grifters started out as a graffiti-like blog with an alternative and fresh point of view, taking pride in their selection of the most prolific graffiti writers. Within a few short years it had developed into something much bigger than just one photographer’s journal. The Grifters, in establishing one of the most recognizable Internet platforms for urban culture, opened a door for a whole new way of documenting and presenting the stories of people who were once labelled as outcasts. They developed these narratives into something philosophical, romanticized and sophisticated. The Grifters not only showed the darker side of society through their beautiful photography and video, but also added a sense of morality, by way of the provocative messages and quotes that we see in their publications.
 
IN MAY 2014, AFTER BEING SET UP BY THE FRENCH VANDAL SQUAD, the creator and head of The Grifters was sent to prison, accused of crimes including Terrorism and Conspiracy. Good Guy Boris was to spend four months remanded in custody in the largest European prison, for merely filming people doing graffiti and posting this on the Internet. This “low blow” on behalf of the police, gave way to The Grifters rising even more in popularity.
 
VERY FEW PEOPLE ARE AWARE that during the time Boris spent in prison, he invited four new people to join the platform of The Grifters. This was the first step taken in developing The Grifters into an art collective. He called upon other young and talented photographers, an illustrator and a writer to join with him to form the collective that The Grifters is currently comprised of today, namely the 1992 Collective, BadYear85, Eewan, Good Guy Boris, James Hattrick & Thorfine. Quickly after the return of Boris from his “holidays”, The Grifters had organized a series of successful exhibitions in Paris, the capital of art and fashion, and their next target is establishing a milestone before the birth of their latest form of evolution - The Grifters Journal.

GRAFFITI WITHOUT GRAFFITI. The name of the project reveals the rationale behind the evolution of The Grifters. This work is a comprehensive and psychoanalytical dissection of the experiences found in the graffiti culture and lifestyle, without the graffiti itself, effectively mirroring the credo of The Grifters. This project is the embodiment of something that The Grifters have been documenting and doing, for almost a decade. The highlight is the limited edition book “GRAFFITI WITOUT GRAFFITI”, a landmark in the saga of The Grifters, and the first project released by them as an art collective. Each artist has been challenged with a task, to use only 36 pages to show graffiti without the ability to depict the graffiti itself. The mix of exclusive footage, confrontational illustration and sophisticated text, helps reveal the charade surrounding Graffiti culture. This book will be the closest explanation to date of what The Grifters is truly about.  

COLLECTOR EDITION:

The edition of 500 copies is signed and numbered by all of the 5 authors, comes packed in a stylish black slip case.

EXHIBITION:

The collector edition of 500 copies was originally presented in the Graffiti Without Graffiti exhibition at the Urban Spree Galerie in Berlin. From 16 to 31 July 2015 The Grifters Collective occupied the space and exposed artworks and installation, expanding the story of the book. 

 

GRAFFITI WITHOUT GRAFFITI exhibition and book launch at Urban Spree Gallery, Berlin.

GRAFFITI WITHOUT GRAFFITI exhibition and book launch at Urban Spree Gallery, Berlin.

GRAFFITI WITHOUT GRAFFITI exhibition and book launch at Urban Spree Gallery, Berlin.

©Photos: Badyear85

INTERVIEW:

Video interview with Good Guy Boris, shot during the G.W.G. exhibition. 

BUY THE BOOK:

PROBATION VACATION: LOST IN ASIA by UTAH & ETHER - SOLD OUT

The Collector edition of PROBATION VACATION: LOST IN ASIA by UTAH & ETHER has been SOLD OUT

Collector edition limited in 500, signed and numbered by the artists is gone.

PROBATION VACATION LOST IN ASIA BY UTAH ETHER SOLD OUT COLLECTOR EDITION

Original version of the book will be available soon here and selected shops & libraries worldwide.

 

Join our newsletter and be the first to know the day of the release.

Full information about the project & the book here.

UTAH & ETHER - PROBATION VACATION: LOST IN ASIA

New book by Utah & Ether

UTAH & ETHER - PROBATION VACATION: LOST IN ASIA

Collector edition of 500 copies, signed and numbered by the artist.

UTAH ETHER PROBATION VACATION LOST IN ASIA BOOK SIGNED AND NUMBERED THE GRIFTERS PUBLISHING COLLECTOR EDITION

The first monograph of Utah & Ether tells the story of American couple who left their home land for good. Breaking the probation by boarding on a plane to India in 2011 and knowing they can never come back, they set a course for new adventure, which lasted 5 years in the world's largest and wildest continents - Asia. The following years Bonnie & Clyde spent traveling through 11 Countries, 37 cities, lurking day and night metro depots, so far untouched by graffiti writers.

 

The project was called PROBATION VACATION: LOST IN ASIA and the documentation of the nomadic journey was separated in two:

 

1. First, the video footage they created 12 original episodes, which allow us to follow U&E and experience a small part of their adventure. To be part of the action and to celebrate the accomplishment of their goals. This series was (and continue to be) release online for free.

2. The second part is held in a book. A book that will tell us the stories, the experience and the emotions they had along the way. This personal regard introduce us details and situations, which we can't see or understand in their videos. Together with a selection of their best photographies, the book will complete the experience and set a new milestone in the modern history of graffiti.

 

Available from 5 May, 10:00am (gmt+01) here.

Join our newsletter (click here) and get an email with a link at the moment of the launch.

UTAH ETHER PROBATION VACATION LOST IN ASIA BOOK SIGNED AND NUMBERED THE GRIFTERS PUBLISHING COLLECTOR EDITION

UTAH ETHER PROBATION VACATION LOST IN ASIA BOOK SIGNED AND NUMBERED THE GRIFTERS PUBLISHING COLLECTOR EDITION

 

UTAH ETHER PROBATION VACATION LOST IN ASIA BOOK SIGNED AND NUMBERED THE GRIFTERS PUBLISHING COLLECTOR EDITION

UTAH ETHER PROBATION VACATION LOST IN ASIA BOOK SIGNED AND NUMBERED THE GRIFTERS PUBLISHING COLLECTOR EDITION

UTAH ETHER PROBATION VACATION LOST IN ASIA BOOK SIGNED AND NUMBERED THE GRIFTERS PUBLISHING COLLECTOR EDITION

UTAH ETHER PROBATION VACATION LOST IN ASIA BOOK SIGNED AND NUMBERED THE GRIFTERS PUBLISHING COLLECTOR EDITION

UTAH ETHER PROBATION VACATION LOST IN ASIA BOOK SIGNED AND NUMBERED THE GRIFTERS PUBLISHING COLLECTOR EDITION

UTAH ETHER PROBATION VACATION LOST IN ASIA BOOK SIGNED AND NUMBERED THE GRIFTERS PUBLISHING COLLECTOR EDITION

UTAH ETHER PROBATION VACATION LOST IN ASIA BOOK SIGNED AND NUMBERED THE GRIFTERS PUBLISHING COLLECTOR EDITION

RACE FLAG: Art book by FELIPE PANTONE & OMAR QUINONES

Race Flag - Art book by Felipe Pantone and Omar Quinones - The Grifters Publishing

RACE FLAG

Race Flag is a conversation between visual artist Felipe Pantone and photographer Omar Quiñones through images. A single emoji occupies the cover, the use of this title is a statement of intent: They have a conversation not with words, but images, making use of the multiple meanings and readings they may contain.

The artists establish a game in which Felipe Pantone poses a question in the form of an image, comprised of the different elements of his work, consisting mainly of abstract forms. Omar Quiñones then answers with a photograph, figurative elements based on what inspires him from the received image, creating a new dimension focusing on forms, meanings and feelings.

With this format, they establish a kind of abstraction in reverse, in which both artists bring new meanings throughout the layout of the images. Felipe expresses himself with vectors, digital files and defined shapes, enhancing the abstraction; while Omar does so with images captured on photographic film, with grain and imperfections, coaxing the reader to enter a more physical dimension.


RACE FLAG
ISBN 978-619-7267-00-6


Art book by Felipe Pantone & Omar Quiñones
Published by The Grifters Publishing™

Limited Edition of 500 copies, signed and numbered by the artists.

Hardcover, Color Offset lithography on 80 pages, 18x18cm (7.2x72 inch)
#RaceFlag #FelipePantone #OmarQuinones #TheGriftersPublishing


Release date: 22 February, 10:00 A.M. (GMT+01)


FELIPE PANTONE
Website
Instagram
Facebook
#FelipePantone

OMAR QUIÑONES
Website
Instagram
#OmarQuinones

 

 

Race Flag Book by Felipe Pantone and Omar Quinones The Grifters Publishing

Race Flag Book by Felipe Pantone and Omar Quinones The Grifters Publishing

Race Flag Book by Felipe Pantone and Omar Quinones The Grifters Publishing

Race Flag Book by Felipe Pantone and Omar Quinones The Grifters Publishing

Race Flag Book by Felipe Pantone and Omar Quinones The Grifters Publishing

Race Flag Book by Felipe Pantone and Omar Quinones The Grifters Publishing

Race Flag Book by Felipe Pantone and Omar Quinones The Grifters Publishing

Race Flag Book by Felipe Pantone and Omar Quinones The Grifters Publishing

Race Flag Book by Felipe Pantone and Omar Quinones The Grifters Publishing

Race Flag Book by Felipe Pantone and Omar Quinones The Grifters Publishing

Race Flag Book by Felipe Pantone and Omar Quinones The Grifters Publishing

 

The Grifters Publishing™
Facebook
Instagram
#TheGrifters #TheGriftersPublishing

For more info: office (at) thegrifters.org

DOUBLE FANTASY by EEWAN

Double Fantasy by Eewan - The Grifters Publishing

The first and long waited monogram of the wonder-kid Eewan. This book reveals the unique humoristic prism that Eewan uses in his work and controversial musings on modern society, graffiti culture and lifestyle.

This book is a selection of unpublished works, with both deep and superficial layers of humor, interesting not only for people of a graffiti background, but for those who are not.

Read the interview with Eewan in The Grifters Journal here.

BUY DOUBLE FANTASY

EEWAN DOUBLE FANTASY THE GRIFTERS

DOUBLE FANTASY EEWAN PREVIEW THE GRIFTERS PUBLISHING

 

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