All posts tagged: Martha Cooper

BSA HOT LIST: Books For Your Gift Giving 2020

BSA HOT LIST: Books For Your Gift Giving 2020

It’s that time of the year again! BSA has been publishing our “Hot Lists” and best-of collections for more than 10 years every December.

In this year that has been so heavy and difficult for many of the BSA family we thought it would be inappropriate to do things the way we always do, out of respect for this moment. The one list that we feel good about this year of course is our shortlist of some of our favorite books from 2020 that you may enjoy as well – just in case you would like to give them as gifts to family, friends, or even to yourself.


From BSA:

Crossroads, the new monograph from Alice Pasquini is full of the young daring and confident girls and women whom have been traveling with her since she began painting walls around the world two decades ago.

Rendered in aqua and goldenrod and midnight, withstanding winds and rains, these figures are willing to be there as a testament to the daily walk through your life. A survey and diary of her works and experiences, her style is more human than international in its everyday appeal, advocacy gently advanced through the depiction of intimate personal dynamics and internal reflection.

Perhaps this quality alludes to the invitation of interaction, the ease of integration with the public space in a way that the cultural norms of her Italian roots influenced her.

“In Rome, where I grew up, everything is urban art. Any little fountain or corner was made by an artist. And there were always a lot of expressions of freedom in this city,” she says in an interview here with writer Stephen Heyman.

Alice Pasquini “Crossroads” Drago Publisher. Rome, Italy, 2019


From BSA:

Bill Posters knows his street art and activism history.

From Beuys’ practice of ‘social sculpture’ and John Fekner’s blunt upbraiding of urban planning hypocrisies to AIDS activists using street art to shame government homophobia and the paint-bombing of a Mao portrait that led to the arrest and torture of the artists/activists for counter-revolutionary propaganda, he’ll give you a solid foundation on precedence for this rebellious art life in “The Street Art Manual.”

He also knows how to yarn-bomb.

And myriad other techniques for freelance intervening in city spaces that you own, that all of us own, but which are often commandeered for commercial messages, political propaganda messages, or commercial-political propaganda messages – otherwise known as fascism.

“The Street Art Manual”; Rebel Artivism and Good Manners with Bill Posters

The Street Art Manual by Bill Posters. The Street Art Manual new US on-sale date is now Sept. 8th. 2020. Published by Laurence King Publishing Ltd. London, UK. 2020.


From BSA:

Taking a decade long view of your creative life can be astoundingly instructional if you are brave enough; perusing over the body of work that you have taken with eyes focused and blurred may reveal broad outlines and finer features of a creative life-path – a psychological mapping of the inner world and its outer expression with all its impulses, longings, expressions of received truths and newly discovered wisdom.

Franco Fasoli aka JAZ has looked over his last decade (2009-2019) of work as a street artist and fine artist and offers you the opportunity to examine his public and private side as well in this new two-volume compendium. Painting on the streets since the mid-nineties and his mid-teens in his hometown of Buenos Aires, the visual artist knew his path would be a creative one. His family and role models, comprised of well-schooled artists and educators, had provided a foundation of critique and appreciation for him to build upon from the earliest years.


Artist Franco JAZ Fasoli Goes “Publico Privado”

Franco Fasoli. Privado. Publico Privado. Jaz Franco Fasoli. 09-2019


From BSA:

Belgium’s ROA, whom we have featured in perhaps 30+ articles, put out his “CODEX” monograph this spring, and while sitting inside your lockdown we thought you would enjoy freeing your mind to travel the world with him.

A gypsy by nature, a naturalist by practice, he has investigated and heralded the animal world, complete with its heartless savagery. Accurately depicting many of the most marginalized and endangered specimens, this uncanny portraitist spooks you with the scale of his animals, draws you in to their presentation without guile.

Willing to let his work do the talking, ROA is still anonymous after more than a decade on the global street art stage. Following his own path, we recognize his achievements here, and wish him good travels wherever he goes.


ROA “CODEX” Reveals His Wild World Wanderings


From BSA:

In addition to lush photo spreads of Martha’s documentation over 6 decades, we have essays written by art critic, curator and author Carlo McCormick, UN Executive Director Jan Sauerwald, author and photographer Nika Kramer, author, curator, and Hip Hop historian Akim Walta, National Geographic chief photo editor Susan Welchman, curator of prints and photographs at the Museum of the City of New York Sean Corcoran, and the curators of this exhibition Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington.

The hefty hardcover, a richly illustrated and modernly designed book, is timed for release simultaneously with the exhibition opening this Friday, October 2. In addition to the essays, we have 40 quotes about Martha from her peers, artists, authorities in photography, folklore, graffiti, and Hip Hop, along with long-time friends and her family. The cover of the book features a photograph rarely seen of graffiti writer Skeme train surfing in NYC taken by Martha in 1982. The introductory texts to each of the 10 sections are written by author and curator Christian Omodeo.


“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”


Published by Urban Nation Museum Berlin & Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo
.


From BSA:

To accompany the exhibition “Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation” at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, a substantial catalogue has been released to support the show and place the artist in context with his time as well as his influence on the future as it pertains to contemporary art and so-called art in the streets.

Accessible and erudite, the catalogue unpacks the social connections, the various emerging music, art, and performance sub-scenes of “Downtown” and “Uptown” New York culture, the opaque underpinnings of the dominant culture, and the urban syntaxes that formed this young Brooklyn artist and his work in the 1970s and 1980s. To faithfully set the stage for this story; to conjure the atmosphere, the moment, the context that Basquiat evolved himself into, you would need to create an interactive urban theme park with an impossible set design budget, a cacophonous sound-music map, a handful of public policy and political advisors, an anthropologist, a warehouse of costumes, too many actors, too many attitudes, and even more drugs.

Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation. Published by MFA Publications on the occasion of the exhibition currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Edited by Liz Munsell and Greg Tate with contributions by J. Faith Almiron, Dakota DeVos, Hua Hsu, and Carlo McCormick.


“Writing The Future”: Basquiat , Broken Poetics, and the NYC Cultural Context


From BSA:

With precision and guile Sandra Chevrier has painted a female world that is sophisticated, unreachable and appealing, whether painted on canvas, street mural, or stuck to a wall in the margins of a city. The characters who are punching and pouncing and swooning across her faces are reflective of her own hearts’ adventures, seamlessly rolling and intermingling with those epic storylines and dust-ups with superheroes and villains of yesterday.

Perhaps it is because of this sense of inexactly placed nostalgia, in “Cages” we are aware of the ties that bind us, the roles that we hold – whether chosen or imposed – and we’re rooting for these Chevrierotic women to win – as they scream and cry and swing for the rafters, looking for the way out.

“A dance between triumph and defeat, freedom and captivity, the poison and the cure,” stands the ambivalent quote on the page facing her black and white photo by Jeremy Dionn.

A closeup of her face, her hand horizontally obscures the lower half, her index finger raised to allow Sandra to see, to study and assess. Without question this artists’ work is more than autobiographical – these expressions offer a stunning sense of mystery, an understanding at the precipice, an adventure-ready to occur.

Sandra Chevrier: Cages. Published by Paragon Books and designed in San Francisco, CA. by Shaun Roberts. August 2020.

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Martha Cooper “I Don’t Scare Easily” – ArtNet

Martha Cooper “I Don’t Scare Easily” – ArtNet

We’re featuring a great interview today from Martha Cooper – whose career retrospective we curated this year at Urban Nation in Berlin. We particularly love the title. Because its true.

‘I Don’t Scare Easily’: Martha Cooper on Crawling Her Way Through Train Tunnels to Become One of the Leading Photographers of Graffiti – on tArtnet

“In a photography career that spans six decades, Martha Cooper has broken boundaries and defined genres. She became the first female staff photographer at the New York Post in 1977 and shot seminal images of graffiti and the burgeoning hip hop scene during its infancy.

Now, Cooper is being honored with largest retrospective of her work to date. “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures,” opening this weekend the Berlin’s Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, charts the artist’s photography, from the pictures taken with her very first camera, which she got when she was in nursery school, in 1946, through the present day.

Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, founders of BrooklynStreetArt.com, the show includes images from Cooper’s many books, which feature such as bodies of work as her photographs of women’s breakdancing competitions (We B*Girls); of traditional Japanese tattooist Horibun I at work (Tokyo Tattoo 1970), and the streets of gritty 1970s-era New York City (New York State of Mind).”

Martha Cooper in the Martha Cooper Library at Berlin’s Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art. Photo Nika Kramer/Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art.

“But it was graffiti that inspired Cooper’s best-known work, immortalized in the 1984 book Subway Art, which she published with fellow photographer Henry Chalfant. Cooper was drawn to the tracks by the desire to save for posterity these fleeting artistic creations, which were unlike anything she had ever seen.”

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING THE INTERVIEW AND ARTICLE WRITTEN BY Sarah Cascone for ArtNet.

Martha Cooper, 180th Street platform, Bronx, NYC (1980). Photo ©Martha Cooper.

“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” at the Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, Bülowstraße 7, 10783 Berlin. Check the museum’s website for details and hours of operation.

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Hyuro, May She Rest in Peace

Hyuro, May She Rest in Peace

Painting on the street for only eleven years, artist Tamara Djurovic made a sterling impression wherever she created her cerebral diagrams, empathic figures, dream-like compositions, frank diary entries, societal critiques and sly metaphors – most often in a monochrome palette.

For such a short career, how is it possible that she enabled her work to speak volumes to us and about us from so many walls? And how can we not feel shaken by her passing today?

Hyuro. Living Walls Atlanta, USA. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Born in Argentina and living for many years in Spain, she created her nom de plume Hyuro from her given family name. After first working with street artist Escif she was warmly adopted by an ever-growing street art family, her subtle humor and elegant self-effacing demeanor rather effortlessly opening doors over time to paint murals on the streets of the Americas, Europe, Africa… Her practice was studied, her process intentional, her dialogue with the passerby sincere.

Now she has passed in Valencia after struggling with a long illness for years, leaving behind a family, close friends, and many fans. You can also safely say she leaves a legacy as an artist, a colleague, and a person. We raise a toast to Hyuro, with many thanks, and if you can hug somebody, tell them they are loved.

Hyuro. Urban Nation Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hyuro. Valencia, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
Hyuro. 20 x 21 Murals. Eugene, Oregon. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Hyuro. Transit Walls. Barcelona, Spain. (photo © Lluis Olive Bulbena)
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Martha Cooper and BSA and “The New Humanity” 2021

Martha Cooper and BSA and “The New Humanity” 2021

So eager are we to rid ourselves of this year 2020,
some of us are already laying plans for humanity in 2021.

Martha Cooper in a still from video shot by Jaime Rojo for “The New Humanity” 2021.

“I really hope that we can put together the things that we have seen and the lessons that we have learned and work together so that we can achieve justice and equality for all,” says photographer Martha Cooper in this new video for “The New Humanity”, an art project by Lavazza for 2021.

Martha Cooper in a still from video shot by Jaime Rojo for “The New Humanity” 2021.

The video, shot by BSA’s Editor of Photography Jaime Rojo, follows Martha as she shows us the new project that she took on in response to being cooped up in her apartment this year.

Martha Cooper in a still from video shot by Jaime Rojo for “The New Humanity” 2021.

Shooting regularly out of her Upper West Side apartment window Martha captured thousands of people passing by a particular bench that she has officially adopted. The text on the placard is a joint effort by Cooper and Steve Harrington, the Editor in Chief of BSA, who proposed a few options for it at Martha’s request in the summer of 2018.

Martha Cooper in a still from video shot by Jaime Rojo for “The New Humanity” 2021.

Ultimately, she liked Steve’s “writer’s bench” idea, since it is a graffiti term and Martha’s well regarded for her preservation of graffiti culture history with her photography. Together they tailored her selection to its current form on a plaque which many New Yorkers have strolled in front of, sat upon, eaten lunch next to, and spent peaceful summer moments of golden slumber beneath.

“A writer’s bench of my own, a place to plan more adventures as I gaze upward to the windows of this captivating city.”

Martha Cooper in a still from video shot by Jaime Rojo for “The New Humanity” 2021.

In “The New Humanity 2021” calendar 13 photographers present their take on a possible vision the theme, each expressing their personal viewpoints and styles. Included along with Cooper are David LaChapelle, Simone Bramante, Martin Schoeller, Ami Vitale, Christy Lee Rogers, Steve McCurry, Joey L., Carolyn Drake, Denis Rouvre, Eugenio Recuenco, Charlie Davoli, and TOILETPAPER.

Alongside and in addition, there are 6 cultural “ambassadors” in the campaign – our personal favorite is true New York activist, performer, and poet Patti Smith. Don’t miss her performance of “Because the Night” that will send chills down your spine.

To see more about Martha and the whole campaign, check out



An overview of the New Humanity 2021 / Lavazza Calendar.


80 years ago the great actor and philosopher Charlie Chaplin delivered a “Final Speech” in the movie The Great Dictator. The words are so appropriate to our time that the speech could have been written today, as we slip into the Greater Depression and a rise of fascism in many corners of the world. We only hope we will find and retain our humanity again.




Editor note: Lavazza is not an advertiser with BSA, although Jaime did enjoy shooting video of Martha for her contribution to their campaign.

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“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”. Installation and Opening Night Shots.

“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”. Installation and Opening Night Shots.

Fully booked and fully celebrated, the weekend long celebration of the Martha Cooper career retrospective opened with great success and great reviews as it has been heavily covered by media in print, online, and radio. Because of Covid restrictions the museum can only accommodate a certain number of guests at a time but so far all tickets have been claimed each day. Please be sure if you are going to grab a free ticket online at Urban Nations’ website.

We wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to photographer and BSA collaborator Nika Kramer for sharing her photos with us.

Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. Mick La Rock and Falk. The Livestream hosts. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. Stiftung Berliner Leben President, Dr. Hans-Michael Brey, Urban Nation Museum Executive Director, Jan Sauerwald and, Gewobag CEO, Markus Terboven. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Artist and photographer Petra Branke. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. SETH Mural inspired by one of Martha’s Photos from her book Street Play. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. SETH Mural inspired by one of Martha’s Photos from her book Street Play. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art. Berlin. (photo © Nika Kramer)
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“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” – Sneak Peek at the Book

“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” – Sneak Peek at the Book

As we prepare to open the Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures exhibition this weekend, we wanted to let you know that we are publishing a handsome catalogue with UN to accompany the show.

In addition to lush photo spreads of Martha’s documentation over 6 decades, we have essays written by art critic, curator and author Carlo McCormick, UN Executive Director Jan Sauerwald, author and photographer Nika Kramer, author, curator, and Hip Hop historian Akim Walta, National Geographic chief photo editor Susan Welchman, curator of prints and photographs at the Museum of the City of New York Sean Corcoran, and the curators of this exhibition Jaime Rojo and Steven P. Harrington.

The hefty hardcover, a richly illustrated and modernly designed book, is timed for release simultaneously with the exhibition opening this Friday, October 2. In addition to the essays, we have 40 quotes about Martha from her peers, artists, authorities in photography, folklore, graffiti, and Hip Hop, along with long-time friends and her family. The cover of the book features a photograph rarely seen of graffiti writer Skeme train surfing in NYC taken by Martha in 1982. The introductory texts to each of the 10 sections are written by author and curator Christian Omodeo.

At 230 pages, the new book is published by Urban Nation Museum For Urban And Contemporary Art, Berlin, and Steven P. Harrington / Jaime Rojo (BrooklynStreetArt.com). The book will be available for sale at the museum’s gift shop and on view for you to peruse in the Martha Cooper Special Projects room.

Designed by Krimm Studios in Berlin, the project was greatly shepherded by Dr. Anne Schmedding, who edited with us along with Martha. The entire project was carefully managed by the brilliant Christiane Pietsch. Our sincere thanks to everyone who has worked studiously alongside us this year during many Covid-caused complications to produce a handsome tome we can all be proud of.

More about this project in a future posting.

Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures
Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo

Opening weekend

Opening:

Friday, October 2nd, 2020: 8 – 11 pm

Extended opening hours:

Saturday, October 3, 2020: 10 am – 10 pm

Sunday, October 4, 2020: 10 am – 8 pm

URBAN NATION Museum, Bülowstrasse 7, Berlin-Schöneberg

Livestream Opening Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures

Click HERE for more details about the exhibition.

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SETH Completes Indoor Mural for “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” at Urban Nation Berlin

SETH Completes Indoor Mural for “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” at Urban Nation Berlin

With less than one week to go before the opening of our exhibition MARTHA COOPER: TAKING PICTURES at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin the installation of the exhibition is well underway. Under the watchful eye and guidance of Michelle Houston and her team at YAP (Yes And Productions), the 400 printed photos, 1400 digital photos, 260 collected artifacts, 35 artists original artworks, one commissioned indoor mural, one new 24-video environmental installation, 10 black books, journals, passports, SIM cards, 8 audio voice recordings, a huge stickerboard, and a timeline covering 1943-2020 are all being installed throughout the entire museum.

Seth Globepainter. Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum. Berlin. (photo @Michelle Nimpsch /YAP)

A career retrospective, this one has been carefully planned with a rich offering of items for those who love photography, those who are avid fans of graffiti and street art, those who are scholars of the art forms and practices in public space, and for the families with kids who are looking to spend an afternoon being entertained and educated.

Seth Globepainter. Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum. Berlin. (photo @Michelle Nimpsch /YAP)

One highlight of the exhibition will be the brand new two-story high site-specific indoor mural by French artist SETH, who has created a new interpretation of one of Martha’s photographs from the 1970s, effectively bridging two of the ten sections of the exhibition entitled “Street Play” and “Martha Remixed”.

Seth’s photo of Martha Cooper when he and she collaborated on a project series in Haiti recently. © SETH

SETH understands Martha’s long time interest in photographing kids creating their own world with their imaginations, their own games, play-acting out scenarios in public space in city streets and empty lots. Photos in the exhibition from Haiti bridge several visits Martha made there, first in 1978 and recently in 2018 – this most recent visit with SETH to collaborate on a project with one another.

We wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise for you but we would like to share with you a handful of detail shots of the mural in progress. We’ll unveil the original photo and the full mural on October 2nd.

Seth Globepainter. Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures. Urban Nation Museum. Berlin. (photo @Michelle Nimpsch /YAP)

You are invited to the Official Opening of “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures”, which will be streamed LIVE online and have all sorts of special guests and feature a tour of the exhibition, interviews, and documentary material with Martha herself – beginning at 8 pm Berlin time Friday, October 2nd.

Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures
Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo

Opening weekend

Opening:

Friday, October 2nd, 2020: 8 – 11 pm

Extended opening hours:

Saturday, October 3, 2020: 10 am – 10 pm

Sunday, October 4, 2020: 10 am – 8 pm

URBAN NATION Museum, Bülowstrasse 7, Berlin-Schöneberg

https://urban-nation.com/livestream-martha-cooper-taking-pictures/

Click HERE for more details about the exhibition.

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BSA Images of the Week: 09.13.20

BSA Images of the Week: 09.13.20

Welcome to BSA Images of the Week.

Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring CAM, David F. Barthold, JJ Veronis, Martha Cooper, Poi Everywhere, REVS, SoulOne, Tones, UFO 907, Winston Tseng, and WK Interact.

Tones (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tones. Wolf Pack. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Tones tribute to SoulOne (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Poi Everywhere (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Winston Tseng (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)
WK Interact (photo © Jaime Rojo)
David F Barthold (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JJ Veronis (photo © Jaime Rojo)
JJ Veronis (photo © Jaime Rojo)
REVS SuperSport has been updated one more time. This piece has been running for more than a decade going from black to silver to red and blue. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
UFO 907 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist. ACAb (photo © Jaime Rojo)
CAM (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
As it’s become customary every year, the FDNY honored their fallen brothers and sisters who rushed to save the victims of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in NYC 19 years ago. Hundreds of firemen in uniform gathered at the Firemen’s Memorial Monument at Riverside Park in Manhattan. The names of the 343 members of the New York City Fire Department who were killed at the site of the attacks were read. In addition to those killed 19 years ago, 227 firemen have died of illnesses related to their rescue and recovery efforts at the WTC, their names were read as well. Riverside Park, Manhattan, NYC September 11, 2020. (photo © Martha Cooper)
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European Month Of Photography 2020 in Berlin Features “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” Exhibition at UN

European Month Of Photography 2020 in Berlin Features “Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” Exhibition at UN

We’re proud to announce that our exhibition Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures will be featured during the prestigious European Month of Photography (EMOP) in Berlin this October for Urban Nation Museum’s very first photography-based program.

The European Month of Photography is a network of European photo festivals which began in 2004 when photography enthusiasts in Berlin, Paris and Vienna decided to put photographic art at the center of public attention for one month at least every two years. It is Germany’s largest photography festival.

Today EMOP it is a network of photography and visual arts institutions from seven European capitals: Berlin, Budapest, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Luxembourg, Paris, and Vienna with aims “to confront expertise in curatorial practice in photography and the intention to develop common projects, notably exhibitions, including exchange of information about the local photographers and artists concerned with photography. Founding members include the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, the Cultural Department of the City of Berlin (Museumspädagogischer Dienst Berlin headed by Thomas Friedrich) and the Department for Cultural Affairs of the City of Vienna (director Bernhard Denscher).

Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures combine photographs and personal artefacts in this retrospective that traces her life from her first camera in nursery school in 1946 to her reputation today as a world-renowned photographer. The exhibition covers Cooper’s wide range of subject matter. Many of her photographs have become iconic representations of a time, place, or culture and are distinguished by their frank human vitality, with an eye for preserving details and traditions of cultural significance.

#emopberlin

We’re grateful for this recognition of the exhibition and look forward to participating in the EMOP 2020 this October and we hope you can join us at Urban Nation – if not in person then please join us ONLINE for our LIVESTREAM opening October 2 ! https://www.facebook.com/events/3400074053384213  All are welcome!

Our special thanks to our entire team at Urban Nation including but not limited to Martha Cooper and Director Jan Sauerwald and
Melanie Achilles, Dr. Hans-Michael Brey, Carsten Cielobatzki, Sean Corcoran, Annette Dooman, Steve Fiedler, Seth Globepainter, Florian Groß, Sven Harke-Kajuth, Nancy Henze, Michelle Houston, Hendrik Jellema, René Kaestner, Kerstin Küppers, Nika Kramer, Barbara Krimm, Tobias Kunz, Jean-Paul Laue, Beatrice Lindhorst, Nicola Petek, Carlo McCormick, Selina Miles, Michelle Nimpsch, Christian Omodeo, Christiane Pietsch, Dennis Rodenhauser, Jens Rueberg, Dr. Anne Schmedding, Malte Schurau, Janika Seitz, Anna Piera di Silvestre, Skeme, Markus Terboven, Reinaldo Verde, Lennart Volber, Akim Walta, Samuel Walter, Rebecca Ward, and Susan Welchman.

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Reflecting on Acts of Art, History and Today: “Black Lives Matter” Mural in Manhattan

Reflecting on Acts of Art, History and Today: “Black Lives Matter” Mural in Manhattan

An outstanding and unprecedented cohesion of many communities has been on display in cities across the United States this spring and summer as “Black Lives Matter” is painted across the streets in expansive letters. In New York City, where the marches are wide, the speeches are forceful, and the conversations go deep – this panoply of painted colors and patterns is no joke.

#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The slogan, a rallying cry that is objectionable to some and painfully, obviously necessary to others has been painted in myriad styles across city streets in 8 prominent locations; Brooklyn (2), Staten Island, Harlem, Queens, The Bronx, and Manhattan (2) – making it a mural program that is truly All-City, as the graffiti writers used to say in the 1970s and 80s.

#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)

On a serious and joyful day in July, we donned our masks and met up with photographer Martha Cooper to safely shoot and talk with members of the Tats Cru, and a number of other artists, activists, community members, media, and elected leaders along Center Street and Foley Square in the City Hall section of downtown Manhattan to see the installation of one of Manhattan’s two BLM street murals. (The second one is on 5th Avenue in front of Trump “Tower” – a soaring glitzy paean to shallow values and a deep disdain for civic ones, but that is a well-worn critique we’re all tired of). This site is only yards away, a five-minute walk, really, from “a graveyard where historians estimate there may have been as many as 10,000[6]–20,000 burials in what was called the “Negroes Burial Ground” in the 1700s.”

#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)

As you scan through these photos taken by Martha we notice the determination in the body language of those involved. The weight of the moment escapes no one this time as police and state violence seem to have tipped the scale this spring and summer in the US. It is as if everyone is awash with layers of history – drawing direct connections to the present in this, a society whose very foundations are built upon enslavement.

Intertwined is a celebration of the struggle, and of the colors that artists can facilitate to help us tell our individual and communal stories as the city proclaims something that wouldn’t be necessary if it were obvious in all our actions and across our societal systems.

“I’m very, very supportive of the arts and I think that the Black Lives Matter movement needs to incorporate the arts, whether it is murals on plywood, or poetry, or prose, or music, or this amazing outdoors public art on the street. People relate to the arts, they can express themselves in a much more dramatic way,” said Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President.


#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatterss Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. From L to R: Chivona Newsom, Hawk Newsom, Tljay Mohammed, and artist Patrice Hayne. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. Forefront: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and artist Sophia Dawson. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. At the podium artist Cara Michell. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)
#blacklivesmatters Mural at Foley Square, NYC. In collaboration with TATS CRU, Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer and Chivona Newsom of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. (photo © Martha Cooper)

We wish to thank Martha for sharing her photos with us for this article.

Additional Information and Resources:

The mural was conceived in a partnership with Black Lives Matter of Greater NY and Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. Spearheaded by WXY Studio, the project was supported by a group of architects and allies. Artists installed the mural July 1-3, 2020.

The project was completed with youth arts nonprofit Thrive Collective with additional technical support from Bronx-based graffiti artists TATS CRU, with WXY Architecture + Urban Design on planning and logistics.

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“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” : Retrospective Opens This October at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin

“Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures” : Retrospective Opens This October at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin


The URBAN NATION MUSEUM FOR URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART
presents a six-decade retrospective of Martha Cooper’s photographs.



MARTHA COOPER: TAKING PICTURES

October 2nd 2020 – August 1st 2021

Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo



Skeme, the Bronx, 1982. Copyright Martha Cooper. 

Combining photographs and personal artifacts, MARTHA COOPER: TAKING PICTURES traces her life from her first camera in nursery school in 1946 to her reputation today as a world-renowned photographer.

This retrospective is the first documentary exhibition to be presented at the URBAN NATION Museum and it ushers in a new era for the museum under its new director Mr. Jan Sauerwald.

MARTHA COOPER: TAKING PICTURES presents the photographer’s versatile vision of the world, with creativity found on every corner. The exhibition opens with the images from Subway Art, her landmark 1984 book with Henry Chalfant, now credited with jump-starting the worldwide urban art movement. Martha’s photographs documented the secret subculture of writers and the coded artworks they created illegally on thousands of New York City trains.

Martha’s photographs are distinguished by their frank human vitality, with an eye to preserving details and traditions of cultural significance. Many of her photographs have become iconic representations of a time, place or culture. The exhibition will offer a rare insight into Martha’s archives through previously unpublished photographs, drawings, journals, articles, letters, and artifacts. As a lifelong and avid collector, her private trove of black books, stickers, Kodak film wallets and child-made toys will also be on display. Emphasis is placed on Martha’s extensive travels and the artistic friendships that she has fostered internationally.

180th Street Station Platform, the Bronx, 1980. Copyright Martha Cooper. 

Fans will recognize images from her books Hip Hop Files (with Akim Walta, 2004), Street Play (2005), We B*Girlz (with Nika Kramer, 2005), New York State of Mind (2007), Name Tagging (2010), and Tokyo Tattoo 1970 (2011). As an exhibition highlight, the original mock-up of her legendary book Subway Art (with Henry Chalfant, 1984) will be on display, as well as artworks from her personal collection including a pair of original paintings by graffiti king, Dondi.

A multi-channel video installation called “The Rushes” will debut in the exhibition by filmmaker Selina Miles, who directed the documentary Martha: A Picture Story and premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in NYC.

An extensive section called “Martha Remixed” showcases the work of over 35 artists who have reinterpreted Cooper’s photographs or paid personal tribute with portraits in an array of styles and mediums and locations. Unique to the exhibition, visitors will see the new collaboration between Martha and multidisciplinary Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic who will create a two-story mural onsite inside the museum.

“We were immediately excited to be given the opportunity to present the world’s first major retrospective of photographer Martha Cooper and to introduce her body of work to URBAN NATION Museum visitors. We are interested in focusing on Cooper’s photographic work and expounding on her working methods. In addition, we will present her worldwide collaborations with artists and protagonists of the street art and graffiti movement and provide audiences the opportunity to delve deeply into the cosmos of Martha Cooper’s work. We are delighted to be able to present and convey a unique compilation of photographs and artifacts from her personal collections.” – Jan Sauerwald, Director of the URBAN NATION Museum.   

Lower East Side, Manhattan. NYC, 1978. Copyright Martha Cooper.

Martha’s specialty is documenting artistic process in public space. Her formal training in art and ethnology set a unique template to better understand cultural practices and techniques and her friendships with artists gave her close and personal access to show materials, tools and techniques in detail as they evolve over several generations. As part of this larger practice, Cooper’s iconic photos of clandestine graffiti activities have proven to be a valuable record and an important key to understanding the story of the movement’s proliferation around the world.

Martha’s curiosity has always driven her documentation. Her black and white photographs from her book Tokyo Tattoo 1970 (2011), represent her first foray into an underground art world and hidden practices. In Street Play she concentrated on the invincible spirit of city kids who are creatively rising above their bleak environment. Her photographs of 1980s breakers are the earliest published images of an unknown dance form at the time that became known as central to the definition of Hip Hop culture. As the first female staff photographer on the New York Post, Cooper sought out subjects to pursue independently. Her intrepid and sometimes risky pursuit of taking pictures has inspired many young people to pursue their own artwork and career paths. 

Exhibition curators Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo (New York) have been curators and co-curators for the URBAN NATION Museum since 2015 (Project M/7 Persons of Interest, 2015, URBAN NATION opening exhibition UNique. UNited. UNstoppable., 2017). They are also founders and editors of the influential art site Brooklyn Street Art (BSA) since 2008, a respected daily clearinghouse of the global street art scene.

1UP Crew Mural. Detail. Urban Spree, Berlin, 2017. Copyright Nika Kramer. 

Martha’s style is to dive in and be fearless, immersing herself in the moment – and she’s been documenting what she finds around the world for six decades. That’s the attitude we took curating this exhibition, knowing that each element captured in her work is genuine and transient. It is our goal for visitors to be transformed by her unique eye for a historic preservation of the ordinary that is often exceptional – whether it is documenting the verboten process of making 1970s graffiti, capturing youths performing moves that were later called “breaking”, the inking processes of Japanese tattoo culture, or the ingenious games kids devised for play in New York’s abandoned neighborhoods,” say Harrington and Rojo about MARTHA COOPER: TAKING PICTURES.

MARTHA COOPER: TAKING PICTURES
Exhibition Opening
Friday, October 2nd, 2020, 8 pm

URBAN NATION MUSEUM FOR URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART
Bülowstraße 7, 10783 Berlin-Schöneberg

Interviews will be offered in prior with Martha Cooper, Curators Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, and Director of the URBAN NATION Museum, Jan Sauerwald. Requests can be send to pr@urban-nation.com

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Lady Pink Blossoms in Welling Court Mural Project NYC – 2020

Lady Pink Blossoms in Welling Court Mural Project NYC – 2020

Free spirit Lady Pink has sprinkled a summer bouquet across a wall here with friends in Queens for the Welling Court Mural Project this year. The Ecuadorian-American artist is known by many for her graffiti writing on trains in the 1970s and 1980s and her latter day murals empowering women, exploring the cityscape – and themes of rebellion or self-expression.

Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Here she has decided to keep it simple for summer 2020, perhaps in the face of the complexity of our lives at the moment. These colors and motifs of flora are reassuring and soothing – possibly to give a salve for our collective wounds as she subtly pays tribute to those names of black and brown people brutalized by our system.

The city is hurting, black people are hurting, poor folks are hurting. In times like these, Lady Pink and her painting family know what you need, because they need it too.

Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shout out to Alison Wallis for organizing this years Welling Court Mural Project, despite the challenges of Covid-19. Read more about the project at wellingcourtmuralprojectnyc on Instagram.

Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Lady Pink with the crew. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Martha Cooper)
Lady Pink. Welling Court Mural Project NYC – June 2020 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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