Martha Cooper – SPRAY NATION


The 1984 photo book SUBWAY ART by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant is without a doubt the by far most influential publication on graffiti ever. It explained and helped spread graffiti globally and was an important multiplier of the former local New York phenomenon. Although the well selected content became legendary, most of the shots from this time remained unpublished. Up to now: SPRAY NATION is the result of extensive digging in Martha’s huge archive.

Together with Roger Gastman she browsed through thousands of negatives of New York’s golden era. The outcome is a massive 288-paged hardcover photo book. Finally there is an answer to the question that might have come to your mind after skimming through SUBWAY ART in the last four decades: What about all the rest?

SPRAY NATION is the long-awaited addition and extension to the classic from 1984. It is packed with unknown end-to-ends by IZ, concept pieces by BLADE, wholecars by SEEN, PJAY and KEL139, and panels by mastermind DONDI, just to name a few. Besides never before published photographs of your favourite writers’ trains you can find shots of inside tags, brilliant skyline views, action shots, and photos that captured a New York that is long gone. We recommend this instant classic to everyone who’s interested in graffiti writing and its origins.

Featured are SKEME, TAKI183, ZEPHYR, BILL BLAST, DOZE, FUTURA2000, NOC167, MIDG, KEL139, STAYHIGH149, IZ THE WIZ, FREEDOM, DEZ, KASE2, SONIC, HAZE, MITCH77, JSON, QUIK, CAP, DONDI, CAINE1, TRACY168, BLADE, SEEN, PJAY, SHY147, TOXIC, LADY PINK, DAZE, MARE139, CRASH, CEY, Richard Hambleton, Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring, Ron English, Jean-Michel Basquiat & Al Diaz (SAMO), John Fekner, Patti Astor, and many, many more.

288 pages, 30 x 20 cm, hardcover
Language: English
Release date: September 2022
Publisher: Prestel

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