“Graffiti is an outlaw art. That’s what makes it thrilling.” -Martha Cooper
Martha Cooper is an unlikely icon of today’s street art movement—a tiny, gray-haired figure racing with her camera alongside crews of masked artists through blighted urban neighborhoods from Berlin to Baltimore. Forty years ago, as the Bronx burned, she started out as a New York Post photographer, snapping some of the first bold images of graffiti where others saw only crime and poverty. Filmmaker Selina Miles catches up with Cooper, now a legend in an international graffiti culture that holds up her 1984 book Subway Art as their bible. Miles skillfully recreates the photographer’s early days through images, interviews with artists, and stories of her escapades, and we follow breathlessly as she continues to aim her camera at renegade artists around the world.