Henry Chalfant – image based solution and responses

I am using Henry Chalfant as one of my conceptual artists as he photographs mostly graffiti on trains, which relates to my work as the graffiti he photographs seems to be seen as vandalism. This helps me when doing my own shoots and planning as I know what to look for when shooting graffiti that is done as an act of defiance.

Henry Chalfant photographed subway graffiti and made a book about it called ‘Henry Chalfant’s Big Subway Archive’ which was published on June 29th 2012. In 2013 it was renamed as ‘Henry Chalfant’s Graffiti Archive: New York City’s Subway Art and Artists’ Henry graduated from Stanford University in which he studied classical Greek. In the 1970’s he started out as a sculptor in New York City. He then switched and started doing photography and a bit of film in which he could study in deep detail of hip-hop culture and graffiti art.

I like Chaflant’s work as it relates a lot to mine, in which he photographs graffiti and to me he shows how the pieces are very artistic to some but are seen as a deviant act by others as he photographs them in a public place rather than a gallery where it is deemed as acceptable. I also like how he manages to get these images with little people in the background as it makes the trains and stations look abandoned which is what I think gives these image an eery feel. The colours in his images stand out as they are very bright and bold, I hope to use the same technique in my work in which the colours are very visible and are the main attraction. His work is also very repetitive as he gets the same angle shots and similar looking trains in his images, however, I like the repetition because it looks as if he has used the same trains but graffitied over the previous work.

Here is some of Henry Chalfant’s work:

Here is my image based solution for Henry Chalfant’s work:

For this image I have used someone else’s work. I researched long graffiti so I could stretch it without it looking too distorted. I then searched for a subway train which is where Henry photograph’s his graffiti. I then opened them both up into photoshop and inserted the graffiti onto the image of the train. I then enlarged and scaled the graffiti to the train and to make it fit I used the rubber tool and went a rind the outside of the train and the windows. I then turned down the opacity of the graffiti to make it seem a bit more realistic.

CTA Blue Line Speed Rush Hour


I have completed some more image based solutions to Henry Chalfant’s work, it led me to research graffiti in abandoned places, here is a mood board of what I found:



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