The 79 -year-old regards back on a career of captivating graffiti and the hip-hop scene in Manhattan through the 70 s and 80 s
In the late 1970 s, New York photographer Henry Chalfant embarked on a potentially dangerous project- to shoot graffiti on the city’s subway cars.
” I was a middle-aged white man, so I would be stopped by the police and they’d say politely,’ Sir, what are you doing ?” recalls the 79 -year-old photographer recently in The Bronx.” I’d tell them’ It’s for a school project, I’m a schoolteacher ,’ I lied to them right off the bat .”
Over the process of being 10 times, Chalfant made over 1,500 photos of graffiti art, subway cars, rappers and break dancers. A selection of 100 rare photos are on view at the Bronx Museum of the Prowess as part of his retrospective, Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transportation, 1977 -1 987, which tracings the early days of hip-hop and graffiti, long before they were world movements.
As one of the most notable” graffiti photographer”, a great deal of metro artistry would be gone forever if it wasn’t for Chalfant, who was there to immortalize it in the Bronx and upper Manhattan through the late 1970 s and 1980 s.
Chalfant, who lived on the Upper East Side, would take the instruct to the Bronx if there was a subway mural he wanted to photograph.
” My procedure was to stand at the uptown metro scaffold and wait until the downtown train stopped on the other side of the moves ,” he said.” The doors don’t open on that side, so as long as it sat there, I took draws .”