Henry Chalfant

United States 1940



Henry Chalfant
Henry Chalfant
United States
March 19, 2014
Jean is researcher and author for Widewalls. jean.gallard@widewalls.ch

Henry Chalfant (born January 2, 1940 in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, United States) is an American photographer and videographer most notable for his work on graffiti, breakdance, and hip hop culture.

Starting out as a sculptor in New York in the 1970s, Chalfant turned to photography and film to do an in-depth study of hip-hop culture and graffiti art.  One of the foremost authorities on New York subway art and other aspects of urban youth culture, his photographs record hundreds of ephemeral, original art works that have long since vanished.

Exhibits of his photos include the O.K. Harris Gallery and the landmark ‘New York-New Wave’ show at P.S. l, and important galleries and museums in Europe. He has co-authored the definitive account of New York graffiti art, Subway Art (Holt Rinehart Winston, N.Y. 1984) and a sequel on the art form’s world-wide diffusion, Spray Can Art (Thames and Hudson Inc. London, 1987).

Chalfant co-produced the PBS documentary, Style Wars, the definitive documentary about Graffiti and Hip Hop culture and directed Flyin’ Cut Sleeves, a documentary on South Bronx gangs, in 1993. He produced and directed Visit Palestine: Ten Days on the West Bank in 2002. His film From Mambo to Hip Hop was featured in the Latino Public Broadcasting series, Voces in 2006-2007, and won an Alma Award for Best Documentary.

Chalfant is a resident of New York City with his wife Kathleen, an actress.  They have two children, David, a musician and producer, and Andromache, a set designer.  He continues to make documentary films about urban popular culture.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2012Z.U.C : Zone Urbaine CréativeArsenal de Metz, MetzGroup
2011UrbanArt Graffiti 21Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte - Europäisches Zentrum für Kunst und Industriekultur, VölklingenGroup
2011Art in the StreetsThe Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009Urban Archives: That was then this is nowBronx Museum of the Arts (BxMA), New York City, NYGroup
2009Born in the StreetsParisGroup
2009Born in the StreetsThe Bronx Museum, New YorkGroup
2009Whole in the WalHelenbeck Gallery, New YorkGroup
2009Born in the Streets Cartier Foundation, ParisGroup
2006Ten Years:  1977-1987Montana Colors, BarcelonaSolo
2006Ten Years:  1977-1987Cox 18, MilanoSolo
2006Ten Years:  1977-1987Galerie SpeerstraSolo
2005Beautiful Losers - Contemporary Art and Street Culture  Orange County Museum of Art, Newport BeachGroup
2004Beautiful LosersCincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2003Ten Years:  1977-1987Galerie Speerstra, ParisSolo
2002Ten Years:  1977-1987The Prosper Gallery, New York,Solo
2002Ten Years:  1977-1987Maharishi, LondonSolo
2002Ten Years:  1977-1987Prosper TokyoSolo
2000Hip Hop exhibit at the Experience Music ProjectSeattle, WAGroup
1999Urban MythologiesThe Bronx Museum, New YorkGroup
1999Art of the American Century Part llWhitney Museum of American Art, New York, NYGroup
1999Hip Hop:  A Cultural ExpressionThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OhioGroup
1996MICHAEL CORRIS "GANG WAREFARELe Consortium, DijonGroup
1985Since the Harlem Renaissance, 50 Years of Afro-American ArtBucknell UniversityGroup
1984Rapid Enamel The Art of GraffitiThe Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Chicago, ILGroup
1984Content, a Contemporary Focus 1974-1984Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.Group
1983Sculptors GuildLever House, New YorkGroup
1983The Comic Art ShowWhitney Downtown, New YorkGroup
1982Sculptors GuildElaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, New YorkGroup
1981Sculptors GuildBronx Botanical Gardens, New YorkGroup
1981New York/New WaveP.S.1, New YorkGroup
1980Graffiti in New YorkOK Harris Gallery, New YorkSolo
1977Three Rivers Arts FestivalPittsburgh, PaGroup