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“Muralismo Morte: The Rebirth of Muralism In Contemporary Art”, is a new hardcover book by Jens Besser published by From Here To Fame Publishing, the outfit behind “Arabic Graffiti” and dozens of books on graffiti and contemporary art, which takes a look at contemporary mural painting around the world.

Peppered with hundreds of color photographs supported by essays, “Muralismo” aims to educate art afficianodoes on the resurgence and history of the mural in art history (informally) and its rebirth in urban landscapes around the world, particularly in economically battered communities/countries.

In Italian, morte means dead and Besser’s premise is that traditional mural painting has created a new school of painting which may be found on dead/abandoned buildings in Italy, Germany, Spain, France and Brazil.

The book is divided into five sections: Legal Walls, Abandoned Spaces, Collaborations and Illegal Adventures, and focuses on a particular aspect of the street art movement, zeroing in on a handful of artists who only work under the public eye: Ecsif, Remed, Honet and Roa, and Os Gemeos, to list a few artists out of 40, whose work appears in its pages.

The opening lines of the essay “The New Muralismo:  Old Muralsmo is Dead! Long Live The New Muralismo,” simultaneously performs two tasks: it gives a brief overview of muralismo’s history and, subtextually, asks the reader if what she’s seeing, or about to see, since it’s the beginning of the book, isn’t really decorative art disguised as culture.

It begins, “When Mexican muralismo was born at the begiing of the 20th century, two goals were central to the art form: 1. Passing on culture through imagery, sicne the majority of the population was illiterate. 2. The creation of a national culture of their own with unique characteristics, since the Mexican Revolution paved the way for an independent state.”

Are street artists spreading culture via murals on abandoned or dead buildings or are they doing something else?

After the break, check out some images from the book.

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Jote, Crocow, Poland, 2009

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“La Santa de Beograd” by Remed. 2008

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Os Gemeos & Blu, Lisbon, Portugal, 2010

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