Words by Atome
First published in 2004
140 page hard cover
15cm x 21cm
UN*LEADED is the work of Sydney graffiti artist Atome. The fruits of a long time dream of his to share his vision and passion, UN*LEADED is one of the first of only a small number of projects – a book of graffiti work & sketches featuring an Australian artist/Australian graffiti.
Atome is one of Australia's best known graffiti artists and writers. He’s been involved in Australian hip hop culture since 1984 and his graffiti skills have been recognised internationally. In 1995, while in New York, Mode2 managed to convince Atome to purchase a ‘black book’ – a book for lead drawings only, his preliminary sketches.
UN*LEADED is a look inside Atome’s ‘black book’. The book documents the evolution of thoughts and ideas, as well as presenting a few finished masterpieces. It’s an insight into how this very talented and prolific artist works.
Atome gives us a few paragraphs of text to explain where he’s at and the journey that this art form has taken him on, but mostly the lead sketches take us through it.
For Atome, many of the sketches have been the blueprint for colours, shapes & styles on various surfaces & locations over a 20 year period. Others are merely ideas & experiments in letter form construction.
In his own words, Atome starts the book with his take on the meaning of graffiti and the motivation of the book: "The essence of graffiti culture is the deployment of the word where the word becomes the story and where the letters are the mechanics of delivering that story.
This book is an insight into the technical approach that is the foundation of style development that ultimately delivers & defines an artists signature..."
The book is carefully assembled in a smallish (15cm x 21cm) format with a blue-grey hardcover. The pages are predominately white, highlighting the detailed sketches drawn in 2B lead pencil. The design is understated, not dwarfing the artwork.
This is the kind of book you can flick through, study, come back to repeatedly, carry around in your bag for inspiration or display it on your coffee table/milk crate/bookshelf. It’s something to treasure.