Martha Cooper is one of the first hip-hop culture photographs in New York. Her work takes us back to the golden age of movement. In the early 80’s, Martha Cooper leaves her photograph archivist job at the New York Times to dedicate herself to that youth who creates from nothing, and animates desolate streets of the Bronx. With Henry Chalfant, she organizes a representation at the “common Ground” the reunites Mcs, Dj’s and B-boys while graffiti pictures are projected. This is probably the first real hip-hop show in Downtown. The media finally discover the break and start talking about that. Inducted into graffiti by the writer Dondi, she met Futura 2000, Lady Pink, Seen, Lee, T-kid Zephyr, and other legends and pioneers of graffiti. She waits for hours the passage of fully painted trains, interviews artists in basements, sharing their daily journeys. In 1981, the book Subway Art she published with Henry Chalfant is the first work of the gender, reproducing New York trans still running on entire pages showing to the face of the world Works from graffiti artists. In 1990, R.I.P Memorial is published, showing commemorative murals and posthumous tributes for people dead suddenly. From her start, Martha Cooper is the memory and the eyes of movement. Her work gifts to hip-hop its pedigree, perpetuates graffiti artworks.
Martha Cooper graduated in ethnology at Oxford, and ex assistant curator at the Yale Museum. Her pictures “Hip-Hop”, which made her famous are just a part of her rich work. Today she dreams to pass the baton to the ones she considers as the real stars of the movement : the artists themselves.