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Video: All City (A Videotape by Henry Chalfant)

Friday, December 28th, 2012

“This is what this whole thing is about man, to be #1 in the ghetto”

This is a great snapshot of the early days of the culture. Shot in the early 80’s by photographer and graff historian Henry Chalfant, All City was shelved due to a lack of funding. He recently dusted it off for MOCA’s Art In The Streets exhibit and now we have something awesome to watch on a Friday afternoon. If I’m not mistaken, several clips from this have surfaced elsewhere over the years, and you’ll probably recognize many of the pieces from Chalfant’s two seminal graff books, Subway Art and Spraycan Art.


Director Henry Chalfant introduces his film All City (1983), which grew out of an idea to do a youth TV program about Hip Hop and other cultural phenomena of interest to young urbanites. The program was never realized, but the trailer grew into a portrait of the different elements of Hip Hop in the mid-80s. The venue is Fashion Moda, a popular art gallery on Third Avenue in the Bronx. There is a demonstration of Bboying, and Rap, followed by a discussion, hosted by Spank TC5, about art and culture with important graffiti artists of the time including Dondi, Butch, Mare and Brim. The video includes a montage of murals by Henry Chalfant and a Pop and Lock lesson by Mr. Wiggles. It features the young Bboy crew, VTB, The Very Tough Breakers.

Spotted: Mass Appeal

Previously: Martha Cooper & Henry Chalfant on the 25th Anniversary Edition of Subway Art

Video: Flyin Cut Sleeves Documentary (Teaser)

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

I’ve always wanted to see this. From former South Bronx school teacher Rita Fecher and Style Wars co-producer and OG Hip-Hop documentarian Henry Chalfant, Flying Cut Sleeves takes a look at the lives of various Bronx gang members over the span of 20 years. I know this has been floating around on torrent sites for a while, but I think I’ll break down and cop the DVD now that it’s getting a proper release.

Hit the jump for a synopsis and the cover.

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Video: Martha Cooper & Henry Chalfant on the 25th Anniversary Edition of Subway Art

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant talk about their seminal graf bible Subway Art and the new 25th Anniversary reissue that’s about to drop.

Not to sound dramatic or anything, but this book pretty much changed my entire life. It’s the reason why you know me as ‘eskay’ today. It’s the reason why I love art. It’s the reason why they have my name on the books down at 100 Centre Street.

I destroyed property because of this book. I shoplifted because of this book. I cut school because of this book. I ruined mad gear because of this book. I made friends, and eventually lost some, all because of this one book.

Well, this and Spraycan Art. Those two books right there started some shit.