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September 8, 2004

{     4 Words - David Choong Lee, Damon Soule, NOME and Mars-1     }    

A collaborative effort between four San Francisco artists, 4 Words features two books for the price of one. The first is a 160 page look into the works of the featured artists, a very healthy and well-reproduced retrospective of each individual's work. The second book is a (mostly) blank sketchbook, with a few random pages printed with a sampling of monotone images from each artist. Whether this is your first introduction to some of these names or if you've been hip to them all for years, you won't find a better way to savor and enjoy their work than this. The main volume uses two separate stocks of paper- one heavier medium-gloss stock for full-color plates (which make up the majority of the book) and a lighter cream-colored stock printed with metallic monotone images used to buffer each "chapter". The color transfers are incredible, and the layout offers details of several of the works in a format that remains casual yet studious all at once. Best of all, perhaps, is the lack of accompanying text by either artist or editor- no attempt is made to break down the work, you're free to experience it as-is and draw your own conclusions. There are unifying elements outside of the San Fran connection, and these works and their artists feel very comfortable next to one another- sharing common textures, a love of layering and raw detail as well as strong roots in street-culture. You get a look at sketches and concepts as well as finished product, and the overall feel is of having examined a crossroads of influence and development between these four. Each of these cats is set to rocket to stardom, and 4 Words offers an incredible way to see a substantial amount of their individual works. I've provided links below to each of their websites, so you can begin to grasp what's collected here. 4 Words is published in a limited edition, and given the quality of the work and the caliber of the artists involved, it is sure to sell out. Get in on it while you still can. Also, keep your peepers peeled to Crown Dozen for an upcoming review of Mars-1's excellent vinyl figure release, and an interview with the man himself.

     » David Choong Lee
     » Damon Soule
     » NOME
     » Mars-1
     » Buy 4 Words from

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