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Brooklyn Street Art

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One Week With 1UP : Martha Cooper & Ninja K

Posted on May 5, 2018

A serendipitous meeting somewhere in Berlin set this project in motion, and the results unveil an adrenaline fueled ride that always pushes, often exceeds the boundaries of physical safety and social acceptance while simultaneously thrilling graffiti fans and pissing off some public officials and property owners.

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team)

A new book that is releasing shortly captures the nature of the actions and adds to our conversations about art, vandalism, branding, public/personal space and its radical visual disruption. It’s a story made all the more remarkable during an increasing level of surveillance in a city that has basically embraced the bohemian and rebellious types who have transformed large parts of its cityscape, making Berlin a de facto capital of subculture, especially among the young.

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team)

Photojournalists have to follow the story wherever it goes in the hope of reporting the true nature of the culture, especially when it veers off the street and dives into subculture. After a somewhat chance encounter with the notorious 1UP crew in Berlin, veteran photojournalist and ethnographer Martha Cooper instinctively knew she had to better understand how the graffiti writing practice today has evolved since she first captured the New York train writers in 1970s and 80s.

Along with photographer Ninja K, Cooper again goes beyond most people’s comfort zone to get a story about this somewhat amorphous and incredibly anonymous graffiti crew that no one else has yet documented. With sharp eyes and pitch-perfect timing, the results of these two journalists reveal how the graffiti practice has continued to expand and beguile in the margins of the urban public sphere.

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team)

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team)

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team)

Martha Cooper & Ninja K. One Week With 1UP. (photo courtesy of the team)


With thanks to the team for sharing their exclusive images with BSA.

 

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