Martha Cooper is an American documentary photographer who has specialized in shooting graffiti, street art and architecture for over forty years. As a lone intern at National Geographic, staff photographer at the New York Post in the 1970s and in her freelance work, she captured renegade street art, Japanese tattoos and American gentrification. In the 1970s she began to document graffiti and b-boying, subjects which led to her extensive coverage of early Hip Hop as it emerged from the Bronx. These photos, published worldwide, helped make Hip Hop the predominant international movement it is today. Martha’s first book Subway Art (with Henry Chalfant), has been in print since 1984. The New York Times called her 1984 book Subway Art the ‘graffiti bible’. Her subsequent books include, R.I.P.: Memorial Wall Art, Hip Hop Files 1980–1984, We B*Girlz, Street Play, New York State of Mind, Tag Town, Going Postal, Remembering 9/11 and Tokyo Tattoo 1970. She lives in Manhattan but can frequently be found at street art festivals worldwide. Martha’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide and published in numerous magazines from National Geographic to Vibe.
Z Martho Cooper, kultno fotoreporterko družbenih in kulturnih robov ameriških megapolisov, katerih blišč in bedo, bolečino in navdihe neutrudno beleži s kamero v roki že od sedemdesetih, se bomo pogovarjali v okviru dveh njenih del, po katerih je najbolj znana. Najprej o njenem pionirskem dokumentiranju zgodnje newyorške grafitarske scene v foto-knjigi Subway Art (1984). Drugo delo je nedavni dokumentarni film Martha: A Picture Story (2019), v katerem o njenem neprecenljivem prispevku k razumevanju kulture ulic – predvsem tistih stranskih, umazanih in zgrafitiranih – govorijo njeni sodobniki in tudi ona sama.