SUBWAY ART – Martha Cooper & Henry Chalfant
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This is it! SUBWAY ART. The most important book on graffiti ever. When in 1984 Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant published their photo book on the New York trainwriting scene, graffiti yet had not spread across the globe. Together with the Beat Street, Wild Style!, and Style Wars movies in the mid 80s graffiti reached a bigger international audience for the very first time. SUBWAY ART became the bible for the first generations of writers from Australia to Norway and Brazil to Italy.
The photo book combined both photographers unique photo styles. While Martha Cooper captured the trains rolling, often as part of the cityscape, Henry Chalfant was more focused on the pieces themselves and mostly took straight and neutral station shots. The mixture made the perfect example of what writing was all about and shaped the image of style, pieces and characters for the next decades.
The 2016 edition comes in a bigger format and includes 70 new photographs from Henry’s and Martha’s archives. In addition it includes introductory words by both of them as well as retrospective texts by them on the book’s impact. Even if you already own one of the previous editions, the re-issue is worth checking out, especially regarding its affordable price. As a supplement we recommend Martha Cooper’s SPRAY NATION book, which came out in 2022 with loads of unknown shots from the golden era of trainwriting in New York.
Featuring BLADE, REVOLT, MARE139, MIN, ZEPHYR, KEL139, PJAY, SEEN, SONIC, T-KID, RAC7, CEM2, DELTA, SHARP, SIR161, KASE2, SKEME, DAZE, PART, DUSTER, FUTURA, DONDI, DEZ, DURO, QUIK, RASTA, KYLE, TRAP, LEE, LADY PINK, MITCH77, CRASH, MAD, NOC167, INK76, ALI, MIDG, SHY147, and many more.
128 pages, 23,5 x 33,5 cm, softcover, fold-out pages
Release date: 2016 (2021 reprint)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
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