City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti From the Martin Wong Collection

A visual account of the birth of graffiti and street art, showcasing as-yet-unseen works collected by preeminent artist Martin Wong. Referred to by the New York Times as an artist "whose meticulous visionary realism is among the lasting legacies of New York’s East Village art scene of the 1980s," Martin Wong (1946–1999) was firmly entrenched in the NYC street art world of the late ’70s and ’80s. City as Canvas chronicles the most important chapter in the street art movement and the artists involved. Showcasing Wong’s enormous graffiti art collection, the book contains artwork, photographs, black books, letters, postcards, posters, and flyers made by Wong and his artist friends. The book contains previously unpublished art by famous street artists such as Futura 2000, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Christopher "Daze" Ellis, LA II, Lady Pink, and Keith Haring, to name only a few. City as Canvas traces the origins of urban self-expression and the era of "outlaw" street art in New York, which primed the floodgates for graffiti art to spread worldwide. Exhibition Schedule: Museum of the City of New York: Opens October 2013

About The Author

Writer and curator Carlo McCormick is the author of numerous books on contemporary art and artists. His writing has appeared in Art in America, Art News, Artforum, Spin, Tokion, and Vice, among other publications. He is the senior editor of Paper magazine. Sean Corcoran is the Curator of Prints and Photography at the Museum of the City of New York. Sacha Jenkins is a journalist, author, and TV producer. His writing has appeared in Vibe, Spin, Rolling Stone, Complex, and Mass Appeal. Christopher "Daze" Ellis is a street and studio artist. Lee Quinones is a street artist and actor.

  • Publish Date: October 15, 2013
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Art - Graffiti & Street Art
  • Publisher: Skira Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 8-1/2 x 10
  • Pages: 240
  • US Price: $45.00
  • CDN Price: $45.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-3986-5


“Street art books are easy to find but ones like City As Canvas are rare. Offering authentic history & deep context, it chronicles the crucial first chapter of the emergence of graffiti & early street art…” ~Werd

"Dwelling in the resplendent squalor of Wong’s apartment is precisely the experience the curators Sean Corcoran and Carlo Mc­Cormick recreate in City as Canvas, an accounting of Wong’s huge personal trove and its place in history, with reflections on the man by his artist friends." ~The New York Times

Author Bookshelf: Carlo McCormick