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Egon Zippel - Devandalized


264 pages
Edited by Egon Zippel
28.5 x 22 cm
Language: English
Publisher: Art Voices

Egon Zippel's Devandalized pays homage to decades of street art mostly in and around New York City. The author/artist use of assemblage as an artistic form and medium has combined the famous with the infamous to create an art form larger than than the sum of its parts. 

Street art is far and away the world's most globally accessible genre of contemporary art. New York has produced influential graffiti and street artists over the decades. Graffiti and street art can be controversial. But it can also be a medium for voices of social change, protest, or expressions of community desire. Sticking stickers to our hands and books, some of the artists have taken this concept to the streets. They make eye-catching stickers of different sizes and post them out on the streets to the trees, lampposts, walls and benches. While some stickers can be removed easily, others are meant to stay for a long time. Street art is embedded in the DNA of our streets and this contemporary art is becoming the most influential movements we've ever seen. Urban and street art have seen an unprecedented rise in popularity. Street art is regarded as one of the largest art movements that has achieved huge popularity and is still rapidly growing as an art form.

Egon Zippel was born in Timișoara, Romania, in 1960 to German parents. When Romania's future dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu, rose to power in the early 1960s, the Zippel's presciently left Romania in 1964 for the Mannheim-Heidelberg region of Germany, to begin life anew. After a stint in the German army, 1979-1981, Egon studied graphic design at the University of Mannheim and received a Fulbright scholarship comprising an introductory month at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and the University of Texas in Austin. Over the next few years, he studied computer graphics at the New York Institute of Technology and continued with postgraduate studies at the Institute for New Media at the Städel Art Academy in Frankfurt 1993-1994. Egon moved to New York City in 1996. Egon believes in predetermination as well as free will and everything in-between. Wrestling with these contradictions makes life playful and infinitely more complex.

The Devandalized book documents the recycling “communication” from appropriated stickers, graffiti tags on visitor ID labels and similar items, and other fragments of urban signatures found on the streets of various cities around the world from 1987-2017. These artifacts of urban life are then regrouped onto canvases in chaotic, semi-random, or well-defined (geometric) compositions, which emanate contemporary culture. The work straddles numerous fences and encompasses several categories: Painting, conceptual art, and collage all come into play as he vandalizes the vandals. Yet, Zippel has “immortalized” the stickers by scraping them from their ephemeral placements on city streets and re-affixing them to canvas. Weathered and tattered, fragmented and battered, he feels that their war-torn condition confirms their authenticity. With a multi-edged blade Egon Zippel has developed a new twist on urban archeology.