NMHU professor to give talk on new book

NMHU Professor Book

Mariah Fox Hausman’s book, “NY City of Kings: A History of New York City Graffiti.” It will be the topic of an upcoming discussion and is available to purchase either via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or by contacting Hausman.

An international movement, a search for identity, a form of art potentially invented by children – these are not ways graffiti is commonly talked about, but these are conclusions that New Mexico Highlands University associate professor Mariah Fox Hausman has reached and written about in her new book, “NY City of Kings: A History of New York City Graffiti.”

Hausman, who teaches media arts and is the chair of the media arts department at Highlands, will give a talk all about the book and the research that went into it on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. at Highlands’ Student Union, room 321.

Hausman said that her book details the history of New York City graffiti not from the viewpoint of scholars, but rather, relays the story of graffiti as an art form told from actual graffiti artists themselves. 

The 100-page, fully illustrated book details the start of New York City graffiti culture in the 1960s, how graffiti evolved, its style and its counter-cultural elements. The book discusses how graffiti became an international art movement. Hausman was greatly aided in her research by former graffiti artists Al Díaz and Eric Felisbret, who are listed as coauthors of her book.

Hausman makes the argument that graffiti began with the children of immigrants who were left with little to no supervision.

“Perhaps (graffiti) is the only art movement started by children,” Hausman said. “I can’t think of any others.”

“They weren’t trying to start an art movement,” Hausman continued. “They were trying to establish a sense of identity (and) have a creative outlet, a social outlet.”

“NY City of Kings: A History of New York City Graffiti” is the culmination of research Hausman did during her recent sabbatical year. 

“Every seven to eight years, we’re able to submit a research proposal (and) work away from our classes,” Hausman said. During her 2022-23 sabbatical year Hausman traveled to New York City, living in a cabin in Massachusetts that her grandparents left her and traveling to New York from there. 

An exhibit that Hausman helped curate along with Felisbret and Díaz called “The History of NYC Graffiti” was another highlight of her sabbatical year. The exhibit took place at the Howl! Happening gallery in Manhattan’s Lower East Side from Nov. 2022-Jan. 2023.

“NY City of Kings: A History of New York City Graffiti” is available now on Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble. Hausman can also be contacted for a signed copy at [email protected].

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