Martha Cooper: Play

A documentary street photographer famous for her images of New York City graffiti, we’re inspired by Martha Cooper’s photographs of children playing on the streets of the poorer parts of her New York neighbourhood.

She didn’t intend to make money from these images that she took in the 1970s.
This is what she saw on her way home from her job at the New York Post. And this is what she did with the extra film she had at the end of the day.

Sometimes in the long run, what we do for play can have a bigger impact than what we do to pay the bills.
So we never stop playing.

It was one of these very kids who introduced her to graffiti and the first graffiti artists she went on to meet and document. Before long Cooper was accompanying these artists and taking images as they tagged trains and derelict buildings.

Cooper also took some fantastic images of subway trains, often standing for hours on the roof of her car waiting for the perfect shot. Patience and skill are etched across all of these.


"Untitled from Subway Art" by Martha Cooper. See more New York street photography here. 


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