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Date : June 18, 2024
ATX urban art

‘A love letter to the city’: Austin artist releases 678-page book of urban art

'A love letter to the city': Austin artist releases 678-page book of urban art

AUSTIN (KXAN) — J. Muzacz hopes people will have a deeper understanding of Austin through his recently-released book, ‘ ATX Urban Art.’

It’s an almost 700-page compilation showcasing over 2,000 photos of the city’s graffiti, street art, murals, and mosaics from the 1950s to today.

“It was a two-year project of concerted effort with myself and two designers working full time. But it’s really a 20-year project that coalesced from all my years in Austin,” Muzacz explained.

128 artists are featured across four chapters: Graffiti, Street Art, Murals, and Mosaics, each including an introduction to the art form, some historical notes, insights into the various styles, explanations of the vernacular and dozens of spreads for the featured artists.

“Austin is such a rich city and culture in arts and everything like that, but there has not been a formal documentation of that. People know it by word of mouth and everything, but to have something physical in your hand, and be able to show that to different cities, that puts us on a map to be able to say, ‘Hey, it’s not just all talk, here’s everything to back up how awesome it is,'” Tony Moreno, a photographer who worked on the project said.

Many of the works of art were professionally photographed for the book, or sourced from never-before-seen artist archives, according to the book’s website. The team who worked on the book consisted of artist and author J. Muzacz, photographers and designers Justin Ebel, Zoe Axelrod, and Tony Moreno, as well as dozens of artists, photographers, and documentarians.

“In my 20 years here, it was a way to kind of bring all those experiences together… from coming as a youth doing graffiti in the streets, to doing street art and selling posters, then finally getting commissioned to paint murals. And now being on the panel for art in public places in Austin… I have kind of seen all these different worlds and all these different paths,” Muzacz said. “We felt like it was the right time. You know, we had the right team, all the knowledge was up here, and all the connections were out there and in the city.”

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