Martha Cooper

Martha Cooper (b.1943) is among the first photographers to document graffiti culture and street art. She moved to New York City in 1975 and began shooting scenes of urban life and children playing on the street in decaying neighborhoods. While working as a staff photographer for the New York Post she became interested in the budding hip hop scene. Winning the trust of graffiti writers, she defied risks to photograph them working in dangerous locations from Brooklyn to the Bronx. She captured some of the most iconic graffiti imagery of the era in her photos of painted train cars, subway stations, rail yards and rooftops. In 1984, Cooper and Henry Chalfant teamed up to publish Subway Art, a classic work that has inspired graffiti artists around the world.