Required Reading: Top 10 Books About Graffiti

Opening this weekend, the first major American museum survey of graffiti and street art, Art in the Streets chronicles the evolution of the urban art movement from the 1970s through today. MoCA’s groundbreaking exhibit features works by dozens of working artists, including Shepard Fairey and Swoon, but for anyone who can’t make it to the show, we’ve compiled a list of must-have books on the topic. From the 1987 book Spraycan Art to The History of American Graffiti, our required reading list gives you everything you’ll need to stay informed about the past, present, and future of graffiti art across the globe.

1. The History of American Graffiti

Shepard Fairey calls this recent book by Caleb Neelson and Art in the Streets co-curator Roger Gastman “the first truly comprehensive history of graffiti’s secretive, illegal culture.” Considering Fairey’s contributions to the movement — not to mention his indisputable street cred — we’re not about to disagree.