It never ceases to amaze me that the ‘hood (Washington Heights) that I grew up in, the vandalized walls that I leaned on, played off the wall on, pushed up on a girl on, had more value then I would imagine. American Photojournalist, Martha Cooper, realized that value.
In one of her books, Tag Town, she allowed her curiosity, interest and love of the movement of the moment,capture the NYC tagging graff scene in its infancy(1980′s). To seize these moments, Ms. Cooper had to spend some time in the Heights. Why? Because according the summary of this book, “Tags are the blueprint and uncouth offspring of graffiti writing culture. The earliest tags in New York were developed in Washington Heights, North Manhattan.” In an interview with InitiArt Magazine, curator, Leanne Sacramone stated the following: “Yes, Graffiti began in the neighborhood in New York, it came out of many other phenomenon that is very complex and the history is very complex. But essentially graffiti started to really develop in Washington Heights in late 1960s – early 1970s. It was a Latino working-class community in Washington Heights, and these young people began to tag lamp-posts, buses, walls, etc. and very quickly the phenomenon spread to the Bronx, Brooklyn and these young people began tagging inside of the trains.”
So in order for Martha Cooper to get to the bottom of this tagging phenomenon, she had to start at the top…The Heights, Baby!
This entry was posted on Monday, June 28th, 2010 at 11:33 am and is filed under Framed, That's What's Up and tagged with Book, graffiti, History, martha cooper, Photography, tags, washington heights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
All content © 2013 by Uptown Collective