watch Blade and Maze pull up to a wall in the 1980’s in Orchard Beach, The Bronx in Blade’s 1972 Thunderbird. This video includes old interviews and footage when Blade and Maze paint a wall. You can also listen to Henry Chalfant talk about Style Wars and graffiti in New York City.
Spray Daily joined forces with the Museum of the City of New York to give you an inside look at their groundbreaking exhibition entitled “City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection.” Martin Wong, a New York City graffiti art collector and community stronghold whose life was claimed by AIDS in 1999, gifted his extensive collection of 1970s- and 1980s-era paintings, photography, black books, personal mementos and more created by legends including (but by no means limited to) Lee Quiñones, LADY PINK, Cey Adams, Keith Haring and Martha Cooper to the museum in 1994.
Twenty years later, Sean Corcoran, MCNY’s Curator of Prints and Photographs, dreamed up and curated the exhibition – which only includes a fraction of Wong’s graffiti treasure trove – to display the collection for the first time.
Though the exhibition was a long time coming, featured artist Lee Quiñones told Spray Daily that “the gestation period is appropriate at this point,” and celebrated it as an opportunity to introduce the world to graffiti as being a “wholly collectible fine art.”
If you’ll be in New York City between now and September 1st officially been extended through Labor Day. But, if you can’t make it (or, if you’re curiosity’s just been sparked), check out our video for an exclusive peek at the exhibition, its backstory and why honouring the work of graffiti’s forefathers (and mothers) is so vitally necessary to bringing the art form into the future.
If you would like to see more of the exhibition there is also a 260-page book with the same name that was released on the opening. Read more about the book and check the preview at Amazon.com: City As Canvas book.
Read the stories behind the iconic images in Subway Art in the words of the pioneers of the graffiti movement in the late 1970s – early 1980s in the new book “Training Days: The Subway Artists Then and Now” by Henry Chalfant and Sacha Jenkins. The book will be released by Thames & Hudson in October 2014 but is already available for pre-order at Amazon.com at only $13.96 (list price: $19.95).
Late 1970s New York City was bankrupt and its streets dirty and dangerous. But thecity had a wild, raw energy that made it the crucible for the birth of rap culture and graffiti. Graffiti writers worked in extremely tough conditions: uncollected garbage, darkness, cramped spaces, and the constant threat of police raids, assault by security staff and attacks by rival crews. It was not unlike practicing performance art in a war zone. Yet during the fertile years of the late 1970s and 1980s they evolved their art from stylized signatures to full-blown Technicolor dreamscapes. Henry Chalfant created panoramic images of painted trains by photographing overlapping shots along the train’s length. It took time to earn the writers’ trust andrespect, but Chalfant became their revered confidant and with Tony Silver went on to produce the classic documentary film Style Wars (1983). Through a series of interviews conducted by Sacha Jenkins, we hear the voices of these characters of old New York. Quite a few of the original writers are no longer with us, but those who have survived have continued to push the envelope as artists and individuals in a new millennium.The stories they tell, included here alongside iconic, raw photographs of their work, will enthrall graffiti fans everywhere. 100 illustrations in color and black-and-white
To be released October 2014, pre-order at Amazon: Training Days: The Subway Artists Then and Now
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 1 edition (October 14, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
Years ago, Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant set out to make a Hi-Def master of Style Wars, by digitizing the original negative of the film. They were very disappointed to discover that the negative had been damaged in storage and that fixing each damaged frame would cost much more money than we had at the time. However we were determined to be able to fix it some day. We are very happy to say that they have finally succeeded. The movie was restored by Chris Woods who, expertly, and with great sensitivity and patience was able to restore the film digitally, frame by frame. The aim now is to have a Blu Ray available in time for the thirtieth anniversary of Style Wars’ 1984 release, early in 2014. The Blu Ray, in addition to the restored Hi Definition film, will include amazing bonus features; the much anticipated OUTTAKES and never-before-seen footage from the editing room where Style Wars was cut. In this amazing 30-year-old footage you’ll see Tony Silver, Victor Kanefsky, Sam Pollard, Burleigh Wartes and Henry Chalfant working, discussing and battling to shape the story that we were ultimately able to tell in the completed film.