Graffiti art book in finals for prestigious award
With the crackdown on illegal tagging, it’s surprising a Montana Book Awards finalist is all about graffiti art.
But Elliot O’Donnell insists he’s no role model.
“People are constantly trying to find a lesson to teach the youth. That’s not why I wrote the book.”
Instead his book, InForm, brings together the stories of 15 graffiti artists.
Elliot, also known as Askew, is a graffiti artist and wanted to highlight the differences between artists.
“There are Mongrel Mob people in there as well as rich kids from the North Shore,” he says. “There’s no stereotype.” Elliot had the idea for InForm after producing Disrupt, a graffiti art magazine, for four years.
“It evolved beyond what I could do within the confi of the magazine and I thought maybe it would be better as a book.”
Elliot, who works as a freelance designer from his Grey Lynn home, was inspired by graffiti as a kid in the 1980s, wandering the streets of Ponsonby and Grey Lynn.
At Auckland Metropolitan College he says he was encouraged creatively and became more interested in the art side of hip hop.
Elliot leaves this weekend for Germany with his crew, TMD, to defend their title at the Write4Gold competition, which they won in 2006.
Art work: Elliot O’Donnell’s book of graffiti artists is a finalist at the Montana Book Awards next month.