Coming Soon: "Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977-1987" @ Bronx Museum
With NYC in a buzz over Beyond the Streets, the Bronx Museum is set to open a retrospective on the legendary graffiti documentation of Henry Chalfant. From Subway Art (with Martha Cooper) and Spraycan Art, as well as co-producing the vital historical piece, Style Wars, Chalfant is one of the pivotal figures in hip-hop and graffiti culture, as his seminal photos have helped shape the narrative and historical lexicon of the art forms.
Currently, there is a Kickstarter campaign up to help raise funds for the exhibition, which you can check out here. As for the exhibition, here is a rundown:
Widely regarded as one of the most significant documentarians of street art, Henry Chalfant has produced a voluminous body documenting the emergence of the trend since its early days in the Bronx, following its transformation into the international phenomenon it is today.
Chalfant’s photographs are a work of visual anthropology and one of the seminal documents of American popular culture in the late twentieth century. Chalfant became interested in graffiti art when he arrived in New York in 1973, after graduating from Stanford University. By 1977, he had developed a technique of capturing exposures in rapid succession on his 35mm camera from different positions on the platform, documenting the entire train in multiple, overlapping shots.
Looking back at the beginning of the graffiti era launched in the midst of a tumultuous time in New York City history, Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977-1987 will feature documentation of works no-longer extant by legendary subway writers, including Dondi, Futura, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, Zephyr, and including Bronx legends Blade, Crash, DAZE, Dez, Kel, Mare, SEEN, Skeme, and T-Kid. The exhibition also includes significant and rare historical ephemera and photographs that register the birth of hip hop. Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977-1987 was originally produced for the Centro de Arte Tomás y Valiente in Madrid, Spain, and curated by SUSO33.