Book Release: Adam Mansbach "Rage Is Back" at the Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn
Tonight at The Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn, Adam Mansbach, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Go the Fuck to Sleep, will be on hand to read from, sling, and sign copies of his latest novel, Rage Is Back. Also in attendance will be cover artist and friend of 12ozProphet, Keo, who’s work will be displayed throughout the venue.
Here’s an excerpt from an article written by Mansbach published yesterday on the website The Awl titled The Stupidity Of New York’s Long, Expensive (And Ongoing) War On Graffiti:
Thirty years ago—at the height of New York City’s “War on Graffiti,” and in an act of faith utterly incommensurate with the city’s public demonization of graffiti writers—a group of teenagers named SHY 147, DAZE, MIN and DURO met with MTA official Richard Ravitch, and proposed a deal. Give the writers of New York City one train line to adorn with their vibrant aerosol murals, and they would leave the rest alone. Let them paint for six months, then let the public vote on the merits of their contribution.
Ravitch suggested that if the writers want to contribute, he would give them all brooms, and hostilities resumed. The subway’s exteriors have been art-free since 1989, but the war has never really ended. New York City remains rigidly opposed to the very aesthetic of graffiti—even if the art in question is perfectly legal.
Today, advertisers have learned to faithfully, if flavorlessly, appropriate graffiti’s ethos of logo repetition, as anyone who has ridden the train lately can confirm. In the city that incubated the most important popular art movement of the 20th century, the message is clear: public space can be yours, if you pay for it.
Unless what you put there reminds them of graffiti, that is. I learned this last week, when I tried to buy space to advertise my new novel. The silver walls where “burners” used to blaze are now for rent; anyone willing to pay fifty thousand dollars to a company called CBS Outdoor can buy advertising “stripes” for a month. For considerably more, one can “wrap” an entire train in product messaging.
“The issue,” CBS Outdoor wrote in an email, explaining why my proposal had been rejected, “is the style of writing. The MTA wants nothing that looks like graffiti.”
Wednesday, January 16
NYC Launch Party @ Powerhouse Arena
37 Main St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Reading, Q&A and Signing
Featuring an art exhibit/installation by KEO TC5 and music by DJ J. Period
via What You Write