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by Combustive Motor Corporation
Artist’s Book / NYC / Conceptual
Paperback, 8 x 9.5 inches, 164 pages with 4 multipage gatefolds and a 32-page field guide insert, four-color photographs and
Beneath the dark highway overpasses of Brooklyn, within the forbidden rail yards of Queens, and along the rooftops and stairwells of Manhattan, four urban explorers record and decode the work of one of New York City’s most vilified and elusive graffiti artists: UFO. Using historical and scientific documentation, government records, personal narratives, and photographic evidence, the Combustive Motor Corporation thoroughly documents the markings of their elusive obsession in U.F.O. A seamless blend of fact and fiction, art and enterprise, U.F.O. is a wild goose chase, after a figurehead of underground art that appears only in the form of his spray-painted avatars.
U.F.O. connects the contemporary markings of one underground artist, known only as UFO, to a far greater creative tradition, linking his artwork to an expressive history of communication, sublime and supernatural, dating back some 10,000 years. In its obsessive, often frantic, accumulation of theory and fact, belief, and evidence, U.F.O. passes through our collective understanding of graffiti into a place where our most common expectations of art and experience collide with the deepest unanswered mysteries of our human history.
Begun in 2004 as a treatment for a feature film, U.F.O. has become the first major book for the art collective Combustive Motor Corporation. It has documented UFO’s artwork around New York City for over three years, and its members describes themselves as having a “second nature” for finding his often hidden symbols.
Combustive Motor Corporation is a collaboration of New York City–based artists, including Alex Wright, an underground culture photographer whose work has appeared in music, art, and fashion periodicals as well as national advertising campaigns; Caleb Scott, a writer and actor who has produced and exhibited over twenty plays, short films, and performance pieces; producer and filmmaker Chris Noble, whose most recent work includes a feature documentary film for Wieden + Kennedy; and Jack Warren, a painter and multimedia artist who has recently been exhibited in solo shows in Geneva and New York.