Hamburg: Quer-Verlag, 1968. First edition. Hardcover. Oblong 16mo. Side-stapled in cardboard covers, with photographic pastedown to front panel. Illustrated with two black and white photographs.
The first and only edition of the only book on Eiffe, who is widely considered to be the first modern graffiti artist in Germany. His ludic and surrealist slogans were seen all over Hamburg during the tumultuous year of 1968, becoming the most visible public texts of the student uprisings. He would often leave his business card near the site of his work; when a building issued him an invoice for damages to their property, he famously responded by sending them an invoice to pay for his artwork. His culminating action was when he drove his Fiat into Hamurg Central Station and began to write on the tiles in May 1968. He was jailed and interred in a psychiatric ward; the book was produced around this time by Uwe Wandrey in order to raise funds for his defense. He was released from the ward later in the year, but in 1970 was reinterred in Rickling Psychiatric hospital for depression; he died of exposure during an escape from the institution in 1982.
The book was conceived of and published by the activist and publisher Uwe Wandrey, and the unusual format of using corrugated cardboard covers is typical of his attention to material in book construction. He also published the first book to be designed as a weapon, and a book bound in tin can lids. For more information about Wandrey please visit the DL blog.
Eiffe's life and works were the subject of a 1995 documentary film by Christian Bau, Eiffe for President. One of the landmark publications of the German Student Movement, and furthermore an important and overlooked book of early political graffiti art.
Several vertical ceases to cardboard covers, with a couple light spots of soiling, but a very good example. Item #25722