New York-based photographer Martha Cooper joined the Wynwood Walls as a contributing artist in its first year. She traveled to Miami alongside other invited artists to document the murals in progress and create an indoor exhibition for the Wynwood Walls’ grand opening. Her photographs provided viewers with an important inside look into the making of the walls and the personalities that brought the project together. Since 2009 Martha has continued to document the epic mural project, recording the transformation of the Wynwood center, and her photographs are featured on this site as well as in the new book from Goldman Properties that celebrates three years of the Wynwood Walls through 2011.
Martha is legendary in the graffiti and street art community for authoring Subway Art (1984), a seminal book that documented the explosion of graffiti writing and subway art in New York City in the late ’70s and ’80s. Her work inspired young artists, spreading the movement around the world, so we are especially fortunate to present her as the official Wynwood Walls photographer. She brings her knowledge and understanding about street culture to the project, and her dedication to her craft still involves climbing buildings, lifts, scaffolding or staying with artists through the night to get the memorable shots she does. Other books by Martha include Hip Hop Files: Photographs 1979–1984 (2004), Street Play (2005), We B*Girlz (2005), Tag Town (2008), and Going Postal (2009).
Martha writes: “Having seen graffiti and street art over the past thirty plus years grow from a secret underground culture to the biggest art movement in the history of the world, photographing the Wynwood Walls was a dream assignment for me. I loved meeting and interacting with the roster of international artists and watching as their walls took shape. At the same time I saw an unprepossessing district transformed before my eyes. It took the creative genius of Tony Goldman to imagine that those windowless warehouses could become the center of a vibrant arts community. I feel privileged to have been a part of this transformation.”