signed and numbered 1/9 c-type print, printed later
110 13/16 by 23 5/8 in. 256 by 60 cm.
Literature Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper, Subway Art, London 1984, p. 80, illustrated in color
It is largely thanks to Henry Chalfant's ground-breaking photography that a record still exists of the graffiti masterpieces that dominated New York's subway system during the 1980s. Chalfant's images perfectly capture and preserve these ephemeral works that were often eradicated by the Transit Authorities as quickly as they had appeared.
The photographer also documented the anonymous young graff writers who risked their lives on a nightly basis in the name of art. Their prize: recognition, a valuable currency for the marginalized, made achievable as the trains they tagged circulated their names throughout the city's five boroughs.
Over a period of seven years Chalfant photographed around five hundred cars, which was no mean feat considering each one measured over sixty feet in its entirety. He relied on innovative techniques employing a camera with a motor which allowed him to shoot four images in quick succession as the train departed the platform. Many of these images are documented in the seminal book on Subway Art he produced with Martha Cooper.