Henry Chalfant’s Big Subway Archive Preview

Henry Chalfant’s Big Graffiti Archive is a work of visual anthropology and one of the seminal documents of American popular culture in the late twentieth century. The original artworks depicted here, which have been the inspiration and guide for thousands of youthful artists around the world, were never able to endure for long before the city cleaned the cars, or the artists’ enemies crossed them out. Chalfant’s patience and determination in hunting down and capturing these masterpieces with his camera 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, the golden age of graffiti. A handful of Chalfant’s photos have been featured in such books as Subway Art and films like Style Wars. Now for the first time, the entire collection will be made available, released serially over the next year until all 800 trains have been published. The book is designed by Max Hergenrother and the video interviews with the artists of the era are produced by Carl Weston, of Videograf Productions.


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