"In 1978 I began a personal project taking pictures of kids playing creatively without adult supervision. I met Michael Rivera and his friends in Brooklyn as they were rummaging through piles of debris in vacant lots looking for discarded bicycle parts that they could reassemble into usable bikes."
- Martha Cooper
"Martha’s photography reminded me of growing up in Baltimore during the same period. The boy (Michael Rivera) retrieving the bicycle tire from the light pole struck a chord in me and I immediately enlarged the image to create a stencil."
- Chris Stain
Martha Cooper is a documentary photographer who has specialized in shooting urban vernacular art and architecture for over forty years. In 1977, Martha moved from Rhode Island to New York City and worked as a staff photographer at the NY Post for three years. During that time 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 youth movement it is today.
Chris Stain is an artist raised in the working class neighborhood of Highlandtown in Baltimore, MD. Having learned printmaking methods at a young age, he eventually shifted his technique toward stenciling, adapting images from photographs, and began exhibiting his work in 2000. Stain seeks to convey an authentic contemporary document that illustrates the triumph of the human spirit as experienced by those in underrepresented urban and rural environments. He lives in Queens, New York with his wife and two children.
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