London: Thames and Hudson, 1984. 1st Edition. Quarto, publisher's photo-illustrated glossy paper wraps.
First edition of this "bible of street art," documenting the burners, tags, pieces, writers and crews of New York's graffiti scene during its heyday in the early 1980s. Illustrated with 239 color photos (including one gatefold) by photographers Cooper and Chalfant, who devoted years to capturing this ephemeral and villainized art form. With a glossary of terms, and text discussing history, techniques, themes, and the sociology of the subculture of writers and crews: "Writers come from all ethnic and economic backgrounds: they may have grown up in the South Bronx or East New York, in SoHo or on Park Avenue. They congregate at certain spots around the city, like the 'Writers' bench' at the Grand Concourse station in the Bronx. On any schoolday they can be found there, exchanging gossip and piece books, comparing burners that pass by on the trains, and boasting about the latest brush with the police." Fine. Item #1469