All posts tagged: Name Tagging

Martha Cooper, Photographer of Art on the Streets for Six Decades

Martha Cooper landed in LA yesterday and will spend the next week installing her photos and their remixed new versions beside them, even flanking hers like stereo speakers. Since the press release has gone out we thought we’d share with you the bio written by Steven P. Harrington and the promo photo by Jaime Rojo which will appear in a special issue of The Art Street Journal dedicated entirely to her to come out this week.

brooklyn-street-art-Jaime-Rojo-Martha-Cooper

Martha and Pablo at home, with a portrait of her sitting on a train car with camera in hand painted by Os Gemeos overlooking the scene. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Martha Cooper, Photographer of Art on the Streets for Six Decades

Written by Steven P. Harrington, this article is featured in The Art Street Journal vol ii – issue v.

The daughter of a Baltimore camera store owner, Martha Cooper’s romance with photography began in the 1940s when bobby-soxers and penny loafers were the sign of edgy youth culture. Her dad, an amateur photographer himself, gave his small girl a camera and together they hit the streets in search of adventure. “Yeah, my father used to take me out and we would take pictures. That’s what I thought photography was…we were just looking for pictures,” she recalls. Six decades later, Cooper is still looking for pictures; meanwhile, many works from her archive are cited as pivotal recordings of the birth of hip-hop culture and its plastic art form, graffiti.

During the cultural upheavals of the 1960s, Cooper earned a Bachelors of Art degree in Iowa, taught English for the Peace Corps in Thailand and rode a motorcycle from Bangkok to obtain a graduate degree at Oxford. As a freelancer and staff photographer in Japan, Maryland and Rhode Island in the early 1970s she moved to the media and art center of New York City to catch bigger fish. Landing a job on the staff of The New York Post in 1977, she discovered that the resistant and competitive boys club of photographers there were reluctant to countenance this scrappy young woman shooting hard news stories and Studio 54 celebrities.

Hungry for discovery, Cooper would spend her time to and from assignments in bombed-out neighborhoods, where she took pictures of kids entertaining themselves with games they devised on the street, often with the humblest of materials. It was during one of those trips that she stumbled on graffiti and the members of its community. She met a young boy who suggested she photograph the work she was seeing, then showed her a stylized drawing of his name, or piece, in his notebook.

Then he asked her if she wanted to meet “The King”.

Following this lead to Brooklyn, Cooper met Dondi, the citywide-famous graffiti writer who kept a published photo of hers in his black book because its background contained one of his graffiti throw-ups. Cooper quickly realized that she had stumbled into a lively street culture and became an avid student of the teen writers she befriended. By the time she took her last news picture for the New York Post in 1980, her primary desire was to capture as many pieces, tags, and trains as she possibly could find. Today, she remarks on her near-obsessive devotion to documenting New York’s graffiti: waking before dawn to hit the street, waiting five hours for a freshly painted #2 train to pass with the sun at her back and countless secret adventures with vandals in train yards, evading transit police in order to pursue a shot.

Joining efforts with fellow graffiti photographer, Henry Chalfant, Cooper proposed putting together a book of their documentation. The pair endured multiple rejections from publishers while lugging around a big “dummy” book with their pictures glued to the pages. Eventually, however, they landed a deal and Subway Art was published in 1984. Although not an immediate success, it came to sell half a million copies and established itself as a holy book for fans, aspiring artists and art historians worldwide.

By the time the 25th anniversary edition was published in 2009, generations of graffiti and street artists had been influenced by it and the hip-hop culture Cooper and Chalfant had captured had gone global.

In the intervening years, Martha Cooper never stopped shooting. Her love of serendipity on the street and the exploration of cultures led her to publish thousands of photos in books such as R.I.P.: Memorial Wall Art, Hip Hop Files 1979-1984, We B*Girlz, Street Play, New York State of Mind, Tag Town, Going Postal, and Name Tagging. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide and published in numerous magazines including National Geographic, Natural History, and Vibe. While she is still shooting graffiti, street art and the occasional break dance competition today, Cooper’s current project involves documenting people and events in Sowebo, a drug-riddled neighborhood in her birthplace of Baltimore.

********************

Steven P. Harrington is editor-in-chief of BrooklynStreetArt.com and co-author (with Jaime Rojo) of Brooklyn Street Art and Street Art New York, both by Prestel Publishing. He and Jaime Rojo are also contributing writers on street art for The Huffington Post.

********************

brooklyn-street-art-martha-cooper-remix-carmichael-gallery

Photographs by Martha Cooper

Martha Cooper ; Remix

with

Original remixes of these photographs in a range of media by Aeon, John Ahearn, Aiko, Bio, Nicer & B-Gee, Blade, Blanco, Mark Bode, Burning Candy, Victor Castillo, Cey, Cekis, Claw, Cosbe, Crash, Dabs & Myla, Anton van Dalen, Daze, Dearraindrop, Jane Dickson, Dr. Revolt, Shepard Fairey, Faust, Flying Fortress, Freedom, Fumakaka, Futura, Gaia, Grotesk, Logan Hicks, How & Nosm, LA II, Lady Pink, Anthony Lister, The London Police, Mare 139, Barry McGee, Nazza Stencil, Nunca, José Parlá, Quik, Lee Quinones, Kenny Scharf, Sharp, Skewville, Chris Stain, Subway Art History, Swoon, T-Kid, Terror161 and more.

Carmichael Gallery is pleased to announce Martha Cooper: Remix, an expansive group show featuring highlights from Martha Cooper’s photographic archive and works by over 50 artists who have created their own unique interpretations of her iconic, historically significant imagery. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Saturday, April 9 from 6 to 8pm with Martha Cooper and several of the participating artists in attendance. The exhibition will run through May 7, 2011.

Click on the link below to read BSA interview with Martha Cooper:

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/?p=19366

Carmichael Gallery

5795 Washington Blvd

Culver City, CA 90232

April 9 – May 7, 2011

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 9, 6-8pm



Please follow and like us:
Read more

Slap Happy: The Humble Sticker Gets The Job Done

Stickering Adheres to Some Graff/Street Art Rules Too

Today we’re sticking to the little pieces; those quickly appearing peeled objects that people smack up on just about every smooth surface around the city. Getting your name, your art, your product out there for people to see has blossomed into a genre of it’s own, fostering shows, mini-conventions, websites, magazines, books, and collectors trading clubs dedicated to the sticky-backed missives some people call ‘slaps”. From individually handmade to glossy mass-produced pieces, the city is a magnet for these adhesive miniature works of art, accumulating them quickly in some locations like snow piling up in a doorway corner during a Nor’easter.

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-1
Photo © Jaime Rojo

Books have been documenting the world of sticker art of late. Most notable are Martha Cooper’s tomes “Going Postal” and  “Name Tagging” from Mark Batty Publishers and this fall Rizzoli released a new book on stickers called “Stickers From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art” by DB Burkemen in collaboration with Monica LoCascio.

The humble sticker is an art medium that does not require a big production and carries a very low risk when being put on the streets and gets the job done.  Doors are often the hot spots where the stickers live together in a seemingly harmonious life – and the rules applied to other forms of Street Art regarding space and real estate on a surface roughly apply here too; “Don’t overlap your sticker on mine or Imma bust you head, son.”  In addition, getting up in as many places as possible, preferably where your fellow sticker artists can see you, is a goal.

Here are some images of richly textured surfaces around town that are “wall-papered” with a myriad of stickers. Even if we knew all the artists, it’s impossible to note them all here.

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-web1-1
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-3
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-4
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-5
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-14
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-15
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-16
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-17
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-18
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-1-web
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-4-web
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-5-web
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-3-web
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-2-web
Photo © Jaime Rojo

brooklyn-street-art-stickers-jaime-rojo-11-10-web-2
Photo © Jaime Rojo

Please follow and like us:
Read more

Hi! My Name is Martha Cooper

New Book Opening tonight

The prolific finger-on-the-street-pulse Ms. Cooper, ever humble, passed this along to us saying, “I have a little Name Tagging book launch on Orchard Street.”  Okay, we’ll def be there.

download-1

And you’ve probably read all this from the other “copy-n-paste” blogs, but here we go:

Date:    Saturday, May 15, 2010
Time:    5:00pm – 8:00pm
Location:  Obey Pop Up Store NYC
Street:  151 Orchard Street
City/Town:  New York, NY

Join Mark Batty Publisher, Martha Cooper and OBEY for a legendary party celebrating a legend herself – and her new book: NAME TAGGING (http://bit.ly/aD0cUH).

There will be books to buy and be signed, lots of free Stella Artois BEER, MUSIC from DB of Breakbeat Science and some well-known faces in the world of URBAN ART.

This is a PREVIEW PARTY of the book even before it’s launched or in stores – so make sure you grab yourself one of the limited copies at the event and get it signed by Martha. We’ll also have copies of her other MBP book, “Going Postal” on-hand.

* * *

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In NAME TAGGING (http://bit.ly/aD0cUH), graffiti photography legend Martha Cooper (http://bit.ly/JF2V8) presents a dizzying array of “Hello My Name Is” stickers adorned with tags, the origin of graffiti and today’s street art cultures.

Cooper’s introduction, artist interviews and photographs make clear how artists famed and anonymous take advantage of the accessibility and practicality of name tag stickers. From CLAW MONEY and NECK FACE to TWIST, SURE, FAUST, COSBE and many, many more, Cooper’s camera has captured the artistry and audacity of these artists and their distinctive tags.

NAME TAGGING recognizes the variety and innovation of tags, crediting the form’s history while demonstrating how old school methods breed some of today’s most exciting graffiti.

* * *

ABOUT THE OBEY POP-UP SHOP: http://obeygiant.com/headlines/obey-pop-up-store-nyc


Please follow and like us:
Read more