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The phenomomn occurring on the New York City Subway system known to the general public as graffiti art flourished from 1970 to 1989. During this time the foundation for a global culture was set in place. The life span of the graffiti paintings could be as brief as hours. In addition to removal by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, paintings were often painted over by other artists. What little documentation was done artists themselves was generally of poor quality; shot mainly with 110 and 126mm non-adjustable cameras.

A widely held public sentiment was that graffiti was merely the scribblings of misdirected youth. A small handful of professional artists photographers recognized the artistic and social significance of the movement. Each of these individuals approached documentation in a unique way. Their collective efforts have preserved an important visual record of graffiti art history. Their documentation of the art has not only assisted in the preservation of the culture; it has also aided in its growth.

Henry Chalfant

Martha Cooper

Ernie Paniccioli

James Prigoff

Jack Stewart

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