In the 1990s, the Angeleno teen known as CISCO went “all-city,” getting his name up all over Los Angeles with graffiti. At the same time, brutal police task forces hunted him down while he coped with his mother’s heroin addiction, homelessness,and continuous instability. In his new memoir, Stefano Bloch recalls the challenges and rewards of exploring the city and leaving his mark on it. Going All City: Struggle and Survival in L.A.’s Graffiti Subculture is his first book, a brave portrait of a highly criticized subculture and a look inside the reality of growing up in low-income Los Angeles.
“We had to create a place for ourselves as a matter of social and existential survival, regardless of the potential costs to our freedom,” reads an especially moving passage from the book. “We could have been called a lot of things: brazen vandals, scared kids, threats to social order, self-obsessed egomaniacs, marginalized youth, outsider artists, trend setters, and thrill seekers. But, to me, we were just regular kids growing up hard in America and making the city our own.” Join Bloch for this reading and conversation.
Skylight Books, 1814 N Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Fri., Nov. 15, 7: 30 p.m.; $19 (includes book). skylightbooks.com.