b. 1940, Sewickley, PA, lives and works in New York



Henry Chalfant is a well-known and highly regarded urban culture photographer and videographer most notable for his graffiti and break dance photography and film. He is highly regarded for his wide knowledge in hip hop and the underground culture.

His photos are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Chalfant co-authored the definitive account of New York graffiti art, Subway Art and a sequel on the art form’s worldwide diffusion, Spraycan Art. Chalfant also co-produced and did the background research and photo-documentation for the 1983 documentary film, Style Wars, first shown on PBS television in 1984.

More recently he has completed a documentary about the South Bronx, “From Mambo to Hip Hop; A South Bronx Tale.” The film chronicles two generations who grew up literally on the same streets of the Bronx, NY, and both used rhythm as their form of rebellion – for the older generation of the 1950s it was the pulsating rhythms of Cuba; for their children of the 1970s it was the rhythms of rap.


The New York Times, A Medici to Spray Paint and Graffiti Artists


Henry Chalfant, 1980, Eric Firestone Loft, November November 10, 2016 – January 21, 2017.