Josh MacPhee is an artist and activist currently residing in Troy, NY, where he moved from an extended residence in Chicago. His former off-set printing press printed issues three-seven of THE2NDHAND, of which fact he reminded me two weekends ago at the Madison Zine Festival exhibition in the Open Book Cafe at UW Madison’s library. Josh is a familiar face to me, yes. And his work is equally familiar — I just never made the connection between the two until that moment, embarrassingly enough.
If you haven’t seen it, his book Stencil Pirates: A Global Study of the Street Stencil (Soft Skull 2004) is worth checking out. Functionally an art book, with near 200 pages of well-reproduced photos of stencils from around the world and accompanying running text, its pages document the stencil’s long road from industrial/administrative marker to propaganda tool to street artist’s mode of choice.
Not much new these past weeks, and for that I’m sorry. Been hard at work getting the word out about our big release party for PIE this Thursday (November 10 @ Hungry Brain), also on a host of book reviews for upcoming issues of the Chicago Reader. This week, two of them appear: one of Mark Crispin Miller’s Fooled Again, about the 2004 election, and a history of rotten elections in American by Andrew Gumbel, Steal This Vote. The excellent review of Matt Taibbi’s Spanking the Donkey is by friend and colleague Brian Nemtusak. Give them all a look here (scroll down to p. 29 and 30): www.chicagoreader.com. Hope to see you Thursday.