LAS VEGAS STREET ART DOCUMENTED IN NEW BOOK BY LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHERS WILLIAM SHEA AND PATRICK LAI
November 28, 2018 By Nancy Katz
The talent and benefit that street art contributes to the art community is being highlighted in a new book documenting the art form in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Street Art Las Vegas includes murals and other works by well-known street artists, such as Shepard Fairey and Retna, to creations by anonymous artists and those without a signature style.
Las Vegas photographers William Shea and Patrick Lai spent countless hours researching and photographing street art throughout Las Vegas and surrounding areas, including abandoned mines. Street Art Las Vegas is the culmination of their efforts from July 2012 and through to September 2018, and is scheduled for release next spring by Smallworks Press, an independent publishing company specializing in limited edition, exquisitely printed books focusing on contemporary art and culture.
Street Art Las Vegas expands on Shea and Lai’s Fade to Gray, the well-received first ever photo documentary about the Las Vegas street art and graffiti scene published in 2015. This new work takes into account a new appreciation by the public for the art value of graffiti and street art, particularly with the 2013 debut of Life is Beautiful, the now annual music and art festival in downtown Las Vegas. The three-day event features work by prominent international street artists and has continued to grow, becoming a symbol of unity, optimism and creativity.
“With Street Art Las Vegas, we want to continue to show the artistic value and expression of street art against the Las Vegas canvas and create more awareness about this organic art form in a way that hadn’t been captured here before Patrick and I started documenting it,” said Shea. “Life is Beautiful created more acceptance and a new lens for street art that had not previously existed, in addition to amazing work by very talented artists.”
The 200-page 8” x 10” book contains 252 high-quality full-color images, including photographs of work from Life is Beautiful, as well as Fade to Gray and remote locations.
“One of the abandoned mine sites is particularly notable in that the art is permanent on the structure. It was made by a cutting torch and can only be removed by demolishing the source,” said Shea. “Traditional street art and graffiti can be painted over, hence our earlier Fade to Gray title.”
Journalist Ed Fuentes provides the interpretive introduction, and the original cover art is by street artist Tristan Eaton.
Publication is scheduled for April 12, 2019, with distribution through Midpoint, a subsidiary of Ingram Content Group. Street Art Las Vegas will list for $24.99, and is available for pre-sale for $21.99 through Amazon and Smallworks Press.