Martha: A Picture Story
MAD | Music/Art/Design
Selina Miles’s doc profiles Martha Cooper, the photographer whose pictures of hip-hop graffiti helped spread the art form across the globe. Still going strong at 75, Cooper looks back on a career that began conventionally but veered off toward the revolutionary. It was the late 70s when she discovered graffiti art in the Bronx, amid poverty and blight; from this initial point of fascination came a focus on subway "writing," which led to a co-authored book on the subject. Subway Art sold few copies but, thanks to shoplifted and photocopied editions, became internationally influential…
Lively, fluid, and chock-full of fascinating pics, Martha is as valuable for its history as for its visuals; besides graffiti, it also shines a light on breakdancing and other urban folk arts through the story of their chief American chronicler. From the ghetto to the gallery: it’s a fascinating story, wonderfully told by Cooper and Miles.
"Joyous… Eighty of the happiest minutes documentary-lovers are likely to spend in a theater this year." - John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter