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Paperback | $25.00 Short | £17.95 | ISBN: 9780262530514 | 209 pp. | 5.8 x 9 in | April 1984

Getting Up

Subway Graffitti in New York


"Getting Up" is the term used by graffiti "artists" to describe their success in making their mark on the New York subway system. Through candid interviews, New Yorker Craig Castleman documents the inside story of the lives and activities of these young graffitists.


"A concise descriptive history of subway graffiti ... well organized, informative and well illustrated.... No matter if one judges subway graffiti to be art or pollution, one comes away from Getting Up admiring the ingenuity of the young writers."
Robert R. Harris, The New York Times Book Review

"Getting Up is urban mass transit's answer to The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe's exploration of the space program.... Though Castleman lacks Wolfe's glitzy style, he illuminates a culture through straightforward reporting of its jargon and shared mythology. Rather than making excuses for the chaotic writing that can make New York subways such an eyesore, Castleman merely describes the loosely knit society that creates it. With a descriptive, rather than analytical, approach he lets the graffiti 'writers' speak for themselves. Their language paints a portrait of the subculture that is like their art, extremely vital."
Jeff Reid, In These Times