See photos from two seriously cool graffiti exhibits in NYC

Preview works from a pair of NYC shows celebrating well-known wall sprayers and their documenters in the '70s and '80s

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  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Howard the Duck by Lee Quiñones, 1988, oil on canvas, 58x88

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Untitled by Futura 2000, 1982, acrylic on wood, 48x96

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Hotel Amazon by Daze, 1988, acrylic on canvas, 51x68

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Untitled by A-One, 1984, acrylic and ink on paper mounted on wood, 42x42

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Various Artists, Wicked Gary’s Tag Collection, 1970-72, ink on cardboard, framed, 49 ½ x 70

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Untitled by Futura 2000, 1985, acrylic on canvas, 27x20

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Untitled by Cey Adams, 1983, acrylic and ink on canvas, 18x14

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Untitled by Zephyr, 1984, acrylic on canvas, 20x40

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    The Death of Graffiti by LADY PINK, 1982, acrylic on masonite, 19x22

  • Photograph: © Keith Haring Foundation

    Untitled by Keith Haring, 1982, acrylic and ink on wood, 18x24

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Untitled by Sharp, 1990, mixed media, 16x18

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Untitled by Sane Smith, 1989, ink on paper, 8x11

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Black Book sketch by Blade, 1975

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Untitled by Dondi, 1983, painting

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Black Book sketch by Dr. Revolt, 1983

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Black Book sketch by Sharp, 1983

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Black Book sketch by Lee Quiñones, 1983

  • Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

    Black Book sketch by Tracy 168, 1987

  • Photograph: Charlie Ahearn

    Howard the Duck Handball Court

  • Photograph: Charlie Ahearn

    Lion's Den Handball Court

  • Photograph: © Jon Naar

    Graffiti Kids, 1973

  • Photograph: © Jon Naar

    Redbird (Stay High 149), 1973

  • Photograph courtesy the Estate of Martin Wong and P.P.O.W Gallery

    Sharp Paints a Picture by Martin Wong, 1997-98

Photograph courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

Howard the Duck by Lee Quiñones, 1988, oil on canvas, 58x88


Graffiti was once something clandestine and illicit that the city spent $300 million to get rid of in New York; now, the urban art form is frequently celebrated, explored and Instagrammed. Two fascinating exhibitions in town right now go back to the ’70s and ’80s, back when it was in its nascent and outlaw phase. Click through the photos above for a taste of what's on display at Museum of the City of New York's "City as Canvas" show, running through August 24. The exhibit includes sketches and paintings from the likes of Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones and Daze—a total of almost 150 works, all from the collection of downtown painter Martin Wong.

At Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea, discover the photographs of Henry Chalfant, who became famous for his shots chronicling NYC subway graffiti. (Some of the shutterbug's works were recently shown at Red Bull Studios' "Write of Passage" exhibition as well.) He was the first to document artists' sprawling, car-long murals in full without straphangers or subway poles in the way. Click through the photos below to preview the panoramic-like photographs, which are on view through March 8, and travel back to a seedier—and more exhilarating—NYC.

  • Photograph copyright Henry Chalfant

    Campbell’s Soup by Fred Brathwaite and Lee Quinones,1980

  • Photograph copyright Henry Chalfant

    Dondi, 1980

  • Photograph copyright Henry Chalfant

    I Love Zoo York by ALI, 1981

  • Photograph copyright Henry Chalfant

    Revolt Min (Rasta RTW), 1979

Photograph copyright Henry Chalfant

Campbell’s Soup by Fred Brathwaite and Lee Quinones,1980


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