Street art is an increasingly valued form of expression, especially in the United States. Artists modify buildings and surfaces to express opinions about people and events. This unique view is difficult to replicate elsewhere. Painting Lionel Messi’s face with Argentinean colors in his hometown is an expression of love and affection. People just can’t miss the art on the walls.
How does wall painting interact with football fandom? In his new book, Football Murals: A celebration of football’s best street art, journalist and broadcaster Andy Brassell presents examples of how this art form celebrates football and football fandom in different ways and in different countries. Brassell combines beautiful photos and reflections. In doing so, he offers readers a justification for why this seldom-discussed celebration of sport deserves attention.
The book, which is less than 200 pages, has a series of short chapters organized largely around players. Most chapters are about a player and their impact on fans and the sport. Brassell then presents the player’s street art as an example of this. Some chapters are organized around themes; “Murals Memorials” and the focus on Hillsborough are particularly poignant. A book about football is of course not complete without the chapters on managers and management. This allows readers to see great Roman street art by Jose Mourinho, Roma’s current manager.
Book review of Football murals
The best thing about this book is how unique it is. There are other books about the images of football. Yet this one, I believe, is unique in its specific focus on street art. I had little knowledge of street art before reading this book. After putting it down I still had little knowledge of executing or commissioning street art. But I developed an appreciation for why artists do it. In addition, I have a few photos that I would like to add as wallpaper for a phone or computer.
There is not much to say about the book because it is short and clear. It contains nice pictures and some explanatory text. If you read it, you will not learn much about the subject. Yet there is too much text for this to be a coffee table book or just a picture book. I think it would have been better to be more of a picture book. Yet the author even admits at the end that the book is not all-encompassing. That’s why he asks readers to send in good examples of different or new street art. This makes sense since this is a newer topic that is becoming more and more mainstream.
This is the type of book that a true football fan who collects various books on the sport would buy. If you want something different about football fandom or want something not too taxing with good photos, Football murals is a good book to review. But if you think Inverting the Pyramid is the only type of football book worth reading (i.e. tactics and history), then you’ll want to skip this book.
Football murals is available from Amazon and all fine booksellers.
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