NYC Street Poets and Visionaries reveals the secret history of New York gleaned from classified ads and advertising posters salvaged and collected by the artist Kenneth Goldsmith who salvaged them from the city's streets from the late 1980s until 2020, at the beginning of the of the coronavirus.
Hilarious, offbeat, absurd, even downright outrageous, sometimes breathtakingly beautiful, they all have in common their unpredictability as much as their total lack of utility. Borrowing either their codes to art brut, cubism or concrete poetry, they align in any case with the watchword of artistic modernity: to take an object and to divert it from any practical aim. Through this personal collection of “street poets and other visionaries”, Kenneth Goldsmith traces almost forty years of American history, questions the limits between what is art and what is not, and draws a history of the margins that is far from being as homogeneous as one might think.
JBE Books, 496pp, 21.6cm × 27.9cm, hardcover, 2023
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