A Walk Into Street Art insists on the incredible freedom one can feel in front of the open-air museum that is the city. The freedom of the mind’s journey, the freedom to explore endlessly; and even to reconstruct, thanks to the possibilities of a virtual reality museum, a life-size tour of some of the works that the now legends of the movement affixed to the South Bronx trains in the early 1980s. Henry Chalfant, an emblematic photographer of early graffiti and a privileged witness of lost creations that he immortalized with Martha Cooper, offered fans the book Subway Art, the graffiti bible. We rush into a subway entrance, to emerge on the platform of a reconstructed train station from where we can contemplate through Henry Chalfant’s lens ten works located on either side of the five cars that made up the R38 trains of the time.
This passage from sketchbook to train highlights a new form of self-portrait in the history of art: graffiti, or the enhancement of the inner world by writing its name.