Graf­fiti art book in fi­nals for pres­ti­gious award

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

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.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Art work: El­liot O’Don­nell’s book of graf­fiti artists is a fi­nal­ist at the Mon­tana Book Awards next month.

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