Behind every piece of art there’s always a terrific story. The intrigue about street art is that most often it’s impossible to know who the artist is, let alone know the story behind the work. One of the cool things for us is that we often learn the stories behind different pieces of work on the street, and we then share these stories with others through the Wooster site.
So when we first started to roam the streets of Soho many years ago, we would always walk past these two faded globes with the word “Akayism” on them. These posters lead us to learn more about the work of one of the true legends in street art today, Akay, who lives in Stockholm.
Akay’s work is similar to that of artists like Dan Witz in that they think about their work in projects rather than random actions.
This month a terrific book called Urban Recreation is being published by Document. The book tells the stories behind the different projects of Akay and Peter, who together are known as the Barsky Brothers.
The work that these two guys do on the street is extremely rare, in the sense that it truly goes beyond spray cans and wheatpastes to be actual architectural structures and installations. The time, not to mention the money, that goes into their projects is remarkable. The book tells the stories behind thirteen projects done in the last four years.
Using material they find on the streets, Akay and Peter take ugly empty places and turn then into these magical little oases.
For us, Akay and Peter are the type of artists who have the ability to truly change the way people think about (a) their environment and (b) what should be in it and (c) what are definition of public art should be.
One of the projects that we really loved was City Swings in which for two weeks the Barsky Brothers installed 65 swings in Stockholm for people to enjoy, all made from found objects.
If there is one book that you should purchase this month, it’s Urban Recreation. We’ve included photos of a few of the projects that the book showcases, but to get the stories behind them, buy the book. We’re told that it willbe distributed in the US by From Here to Fame (NYC) and Last Gasp of San Francisco. We hear that both US distributors will probably have the book in stock in February or March.