Martha Cooper

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Martha Cooper (b.1943) grew up surrounded by cameras as her father and uncle owned a family camera store in Baltimore, Maryland. She often accompanied her father on outings with the local camera club and took her first photographs while in nursery school.


For the past 40 years, Cooper has specialized in shooting graffiti and street art within the context of the city. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide and appeared in countless magazines from National Geographic to Vibe. She has published numerous books including Subway Art (1984), Hip Hop Files (2004), We B* Girlz (2005), Street Play (2006), New York State of Mind (2007), TagTown (2007), Going Postal (2009) and Tokyo Tattoo 1970 (2012). Subway Art, a collaboration with Henry Chalfant, is affectionately called the “bible” by graffiti writers and is one of the best selling art books in history.