December 08, 2011

Tokyo Tattoo 1970: Martha Cooper and Aiko Presented by Urban Folk Art


Tokyo Tattoo 1970: Martha Cooper and Aiko
Presented by Urban Folk Art


Date of Exhibit – Dec 9-30th 2011
Opening Friday, December 9th 7-10pm

Urban Folk Art© is pleased to present the the art installation and book release celebration for Martha Cooper’s’s latest book ‘Tokyo Tattoo 1970’ by Dokument Press.

Martha Cooper will be exhibiting photos from her book, and Aiko, internationally renowned stencil artist will be displaying work inspired by Martha’s work directly related to the book. Martha Cooper is an American photographer best known for documenting the New York graffiti scene in the 70’s and 80’s. She started getting noticed for her personal work while working at the NY Post in the 70’s. The landmark book Subway Art published in 1984 which Cooper co-authored with Henry Chalfant is frequently credited as the catalyst and foundation for aerosol art movements worldwide. In the 70’s She was living in Tokyo with her anthropologist husband and became interested in Japanese tattooing after seeing a tattoo on display at a festival. She documented the tattoo Master Horibun I at work on clients as well as others involved in the tattooing scene there. She tried to publish these photos in the early 70’s but found that tattoong back then had an unsavory reputation, and no one was interested.


An original member of the art collective Faile, Aiko has been making art that has been shown and recognized internationally for many years. Aiko and Martha met in 2006, and since then have traveled to Japan, Amsterdam and Berlin together on various projects, Aiko helped install Martha’s photos at the MOCA ‘Art in the Streets’ exhibit, as well as participated in the Carmichael gallery’s show “Remix” where artists made work inspired by Martha’s photos. Aiko’s piece was inspired by one of the photos in ‘Tokyo Tattoo 1970’.

In 2004 Martha met the guys at Dokument Press. Their magazine ‘Underground Productions’ was one of the first graffiti magazines in Europe. In 2008 Dokument press published Cooper’s ‘Tag Town’. Martha says: “Dokument has always been interested in publishing work about underground cultures, so the tattoo photos were a good fit for them.”

On choosing Urban Folk Art© Gallery for her book release, Martha says, “Aiko and I attended the Atlantic Avenue Art Walk last year and I was surprised to see a tattoo studio (Brooklyn Tattoo) and gallery with the name ‘Urban Folk Art©’ on the event map. So first of all, the name attracted me and I wanted to see what the place was. When I found out that there was a graffiti connection, I thought it would be the perfect place to launch my tattoo book”.

Co-Curated by Martha Cooper, Aiko, Adam Suerte, Robert bonhomme.

Urban Folk Art
101 Smith Street
South Brooklyn, NY

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