Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Moving Murals: Henry Chalfant & Martha Cooper’s All-City Graffiti Archive

A new gallery opened in the L.E.S. of  New York City earlier this month. Gallery City Lore's inaugural exhibition is uniquely New York from a bygone era. Moving Murals: Henry Chalfant & Martha Cooper’s All-City Graffiti Archive celebrates a “Golden Age of Graffiti." When the city's subway cars became a rolling steel gallery that only the most daring artists got to exhibition in.

Shot in the ‘70s and early ‘80s this artwork has long gone and some of the artists have themselves passed. With over 850 trains covering the gallery's walls, top to bottom, this is the first time such a historic and complete collection of images has been shown in one gallery. (Some of Henry Chalfont's work was shown as part of the Art in the Streets exhibition in Los Angeles.)

We want [visitors] to be astonished by the creativity of these kids who at the time took their life into their hands and risked jail, basically, to be able to go into trainyards to create these beautiful if ephemeral murals,” said City Lore founding director Steve Zeitlin.
What started out as what you might call vandalism, putting up a tag on a wall or a train, evolved into a real art form,” Mr. Chalfant added. “And it’s an art form which has influenced an extraordinary number of people around the world.”

Back to the 21st-century  Henry Chalfont's iBook entitled "Big Subway Archive" was also at Gallery City Lore to offer visitors an insider's look into the art of subway graffiti trains. The iBook experience is immersive with 800 multimedia photos, 50 artist interviews and videos.

"These classic train murals, which have been the inspiration and guide for thousands of youthful artists around the world, did not survive on the trains for long before the city cleaned the cars, or the artists’ rivals painted over them. Chalfant and Cooper’s patience and determination in hunting down and capturing these ephemeral masterpieces with their cameras has left the world with a representative cross section of some of the best work by the most talented young artists who painted New York City’s subway cars in the seventies and eighties. 
These images pay homage to the young artists from the City’s underserved outer boroughs whose work—though often dismissed as vandalism—challenged contemporary fine arts standards, and lit the fuse for the street art and hip hop explosion heard around the world." Henry Chalfont's Big Subway Archive.

Gallery City Lore is part of City Lore, the 28-year old cultural organization whose mission is to "foster New York City – and America’s – living cultural heritage through education and public programs."

City Lore Gallery
56 E 1st St. New York, NY 10003

Exhibition runs until July 10th, 2014.
Opening hours: Weds - Sat 12 PM – 6 PM
(Take the F train to 2nd Ave or 6 train to Bleecker St.)

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