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Subway Art: 25th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – April 15, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

SHEPARD FAIREY
Subway Art is one of the main reasons graffiti became a global phenomenon. For everyone that didn't grow up in New York City and even for those that did, Subway Art became their main source of inspiration.

BLADE ONE
People from all over the world have wanted to meet me because of Subway Art. There's no question that this book has changed the course of art history on this planet.

JEFFREY DEITCH
The Wild Style graffiti that was invented in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s is arguably the most influential art movement since Pop Art. Much of its influence is due to the extraordinary documentation of the artists and their work in the book Subway Art, by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant, now re-released in a beautifully produced 25th anniversary edition.

JONATHAN LETHEM
This lavish new edition stunningly reasserts Subway Art 's place as the signal book on the authentic graffiti phenomenon, with pictures you can at last climb into and explore the way devotees of the earlier edition could only dream of.

NEW YORK TIMES
The 1984 book Subway Art, Ms. Cooper's collaboration with Henry Chalfant, a photographer and filmmaker, captured graffiti's golden and assaultive years. It sold half a million copies, becoming the movement's bible and epitaph. But the best of the trains live on, in an updated, large-format 25th-anniversary edition, to be published next month by Chronicle Books.

OS GEMEOS
Brazil was always late getting information about graffiti. We remember the first time we saw "Subway Art" was in 1988 or 89. A friend showed us the book, and we went crazy! He wouldn't leave the book with us, so we made a photocopy... every single small photo was "Big" for us... We've always been glad for "Subway Art" and its influence on all the writers around the world!

About the Author

Martha Cooper is a Manhattan-based documentary photographer. Her images of graffiti and hip hop culture are world-renowned and widely published. She is the Director of Photography at City Lore.

Henry Chalfant is a sculptor, filmmaker, and photographer in New York. His photos have appeared in many books and he has produced several documentary films on street art and urban culture.

Take a Look Inside Subway Art
(Click on Images to Enlarge)

"We may have lost the trains..." >--Martha Cooper
"...but we've gained the whole world."--Henry Chalfont

"Revolt Min," 1981 (H.Chalfont) "Seen Dust," 1980 (H.Chalfont)
"Skeme Daze," 1981 (H.Chalfont) "Kwik,"1982 (H.Chalfont)

Cops in the train, the Bronx, 1981Revolt Min, 1981 (M.Cooper) Dondi Painting, New Lots Yards, 1980 (M.Cooper) "Children of the Grave Again,Part 3, by Dondi," 1980 (M.Cooper)


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; Anv edition (April 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811868877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811868877
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 0.7 x 16.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J.SON on April 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
There is no debating that the original printing of Subway Art , globalized the graffiti movement , giving our friends across the pond a detailed blueprint for letter forms, fresh from NYC's subway lines. In 2009 , there are a plethora of European spray paint companies catering to graffiti with an array of colors named after prominent artists in the culture. The period chronicled in this book (early 80's) is the most well-documented and some of the pieces are breath-takingly beautiful. The photography of Cooper, a pro and Chalfant , an amateur indistinguishable from a pro, show that two distinct styles can indeed co-exist with one another, despite Cap's words to the contrary. (Inside joke!)
The portraits of people are perhaps the strongest of the added material not included in the original version. Full page photos of Kase 2 with a menacing stare, a young Duster and Lizzie and a bat-wielding Dezzy Dez patrolling the 3 yard capture the era magnificently.
Several artists got added play in this new version of the old book and for the most it was the usual suspects (people who were down with Henry and Martha), giving a few of them a disproportionate amount of exposure versus their impact on this culture- a minor flaw, an oblivious public won't care about.
The book is physically huge and there are fold-outs of whole cars . Mitch 77 gets some long overdue love, as does one of the unsung heroes of the peace-loving , Central park bandshell- based version of RTW--RASTA.
Martha Cooper once ventured into the Esplanade Tunnel lay-up with Cap, Seen and myself to shoot action shots of a whole car in 1982. Damn! A quarter century went by fast.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fred S. Raymond on June 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Aiight, if anyone thinks that this isn't a GREAT "2nd Coming" of Subway Art, they're either Jaded or Jealous.
1st of all this book is no -8 1/2 by 11 toss it in yr backpack, bite it and wish you was that dope-type of experience. This FoMo is a genuine coffee table banger, with Clear Large Photos, some old/some new, but even the old ones are new: "Playing on a Wrecked Train" has a Blade Tag that I never seent before, and MIN One is in that Flick!!!WTF!!!I NEVER comprehended him there. That was ill-E to me, cuz like many I have scoured Subway Art for Everything it has. Now I look back and sho'nuff there he is.

Anyways for all the things I wanted to see(a couple more of the classic "Names" pages[there's one] or for instance a dedicated page for the apologies and mistakes like too cold and got chased[there's none])...well for all of my Wants and Wishes, the whole of this book Makes Up For It Like a Mountain Climber. In fact I've ordered another copy just to put in a plastic bag, cause this book Should be on the coffee table, and it Should be Kept with the spine unbroken, just for collectors sake.
The Only other issue is it seems the colors have been tweeked a lil bit to make the pics pop; no hate tho it's just a observation

5 Stars
easy
and Order it here now cuz this book is worth All of the $40 it's priced at. I'd actually say at least $50 for real.

What it Done is What it Do, FSwift been suggested this book for you. PLUS The Man-JSon's and Richie's Happy Holidays car is in full effect and looking mad spec-tacular..Crisp....=](nice review Brother, and Plus Props For Days

Bless
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By New York Talk on April 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
What would we have done without
the great Martha Cooper archiving this history?

It would've been LOST - that's it. Period.

We wouldn't have had this greatness preserved for posterity.

Her archival work - Her journalistic work - Her work as a historian -
are all invaluable. and this book - already a classic - to see it in
this deluxe, large format...was truly wonderful.

The pictures are breathtaking. and considering they can't be found
anywhere else - priceless.

This was a major part of urban & american history that would have been
whitewashed away if not for the valiant effors of Ms. Cooper and I thank
her for it. The book is truly 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Johnathen Duran on March 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You can't beat the level of photography and insight found in this book. I had the original but lost it years ago. I got this because I wanted to re-up and saw the 25th ann. edition was out. It's beyond all expectations. Stunning in size and new added essays.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a gift I bought for my boyfriend and he loved it. I bought it used but it looks super new, so good in fact, he thought I bought it at listed price. I was silly and didn't look at the dimensions so was shocked at how ginormous the book is. Super big and flat so put this baby on display or as a coffee table book because it won't fit on a standard bookshelf.
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By John Vargas on March 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the first Graffiti ducument books out at that time, also known as the Graffiti bible! i highley recomend this book to any writer and any person who wants to know more about this culture of ours! ALOT of good shots.
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By maj2122 on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a must have for anyone who's a street art and/or hip-hop afficionado! truly a great buy, the anniversary edition has a preface that puts the graffiti art in a historical perspective
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