If you discovered graffiti in the 80’s or early 90’s it’s mostly credited to this lady, famed photographer and hip-hop culture historian Martha Cooper. She stuck to the artist’s G code (always stay curious) and it paid off. When white America thought these poor brown kids were just destroying public property, Cooper saw young disenfranchised artists and urban dwellers who had built their own universe out of nothing. Aside from photographer and film maker Henry Chalfant (Wild Style, 1983), co-author of Subway Art (1988), literally nobody, I mean nobody gave two shakes of a shit’s stick what these kids were doing. They’re beautiful burners glazing whole cars were considered eye sores to affluent New Yorkers, and a separate world that wasn’t worth investigating to the art world elite. Cooper and Chalfant were unknowingly changing the future of art, advertising and marketing by documenting this under estimated movement. She was there when graffiti, street art and the culture of hip-hop was unfolding.
Over twenty years later she’s steady mobbing around Honolulu at Pow! Wow! 2014 clicking murals as they’re getting painted and keepin’ it G. Good lookin’.
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