Alachua County Library. Stencil Pirates

Stencil pirates : a global study of the street stencil / 2004

Stencil Pirates by Josh MacPhee (one of the most reliable authors, artists, and activist writing about these issues) contains an exhaustive collection of close to 1000 photographs from around the globe. The photos show work by hundreds of different artists, exposing the width and breadth of stencil graffiti, from political to abstract and purely aesthetic, from tagging to public announcements. Stencil Pirates offers in-depth writings on the complex history of stencil graffiti, its political context, and how stencils fit into the larger pantheon of street expression. It discusses stenciling as a way for political movements to resist and mark territory, whether as part of gentrification struggles in New York and San Francisco or as part of the general uprising in Argentina over the past couple years.
Stencil artists are the printmakers of the urban landscape, dropping art on sidewalks, walls, park benches, bus stops, store windows, etc. By far the most accessible form of printmaking, stencil artists simply need a piece of cardboard, a knife, a can of spray paint and something to express. Stenciling is a form of expression that boldly reclaims public space by inserting political or metaphysical messages into corporate landscapes.

Search for the book in Alachua County Library.

Despite the fact that the book is pretty old, it offers a broad and fairly cogent view of the role that stenciling has played in the past, the history of graffiti in the global south make it quite unique and equitable. It has a detailed guide on how to make and use your own stencils and examples of the stencils. It is interesting to see how a book is able of sharing good technical lessons, while at the same time offering an occasional tone of critique because the work might be easy to accomplish. I would not recommend you to cut stencils from the library book but you can easily print them here.

You can find also free stencil templates here, for example; create your own piece at the Stencil Maker; to find out more about stencil graffiti at and

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