This is a nostalgic, visual account of the best time and place to be a graffiti writer. In the 1980s, brothers Kenny, a.k.a. KEY, and Paul, a.k.a. CAVS, immersed themselves in the graffiti scene in the Boogie Down Bronx, dutifully photographing hundreds of pieces on now-discontinued MTA subway cars and capturing their proud comrades before, during, and after the act. ‘Bombing’ ‘White Elephants’ with their pilot markers and documenting them with their cameras, which they always carried, they were on the ride of their lives—until 1989, when the last painted train was removed from service. Tags by names like QUIK, IZTHEWIZ, and many others appear here in colour exposures, and dozens of artists share stories and drop knowledge with no filter. A foreword by graffiti historian Henry Chalfant, coproducer of Style Wars—the seminal documentary on New York graffiti and hip-hop culture—kicks things off.
Brothers Paul (CAVS) and Kenny (KEY) Cavalieri, from the Wakefield area of the Boogie Down Bronx, began taking photos of trains in 1983. East 238th street train station was the beginning of their seven-year journey on the lines. East Tremont train station on the 2 and 5 lines was the best place to take pictures. A lot of time and money was spent on film just to take pictures on the subway platforms. But they were determined to get their pictures, regardless of how long they had to wait: from dusk to dawn, in frigid winters, and ‘hot town summer in the city’.
Published September 2017 by Schiffer Books
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