Subway, Lifeblood

Taken from
As a kid growing up in the eightees’ who naturally gravitated towards GrandMaster Flash, The RockSteady Crew and writing graffiti, I always had an affinity for the New York City subway during the late 70′ and early 80’s. It represented the blood-filled arteries of a city pumping with organic, authentic, city-brewed culture. It was covered with tags and pieces while filled with people of every size, shape, age and color. It was reckless and untamed and most importantly, it was New York City.

I collected some photographs from Bruce Davidson, John F. Conn, Jamel Shabazz and Martha Cooper detailing life on and in the New York City subway in the 1980’s. Enjoy.

“I wanted to transform the subway from its dark, degrading, and impersonal reality into images that open up our experience again to the color, sensuality, and vitality of the individual souls that ride it each day.” In “Subway”, passengers of the city’s subterranean world are portrayed in detail, revealing the interplay of its inner landscape and outer vistas, set against a gritty, graffiti-strewn background and displayed in tones that Davidson describes as “an iridescence like that I had seen in photographs of deep-sea fish”. - Bruce Davidson

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