With photographs by Janette Beckman and work from a wide-ranging selection of graffiti artists curated by Cey Adams, the book features the fusion of Beckman’s iconic hip-hop portraits with graffiti-based interpretations from Crash, Futura, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, Queen Andrea, Revolt, Todd James, Zephyr, and more.
Janette Beckman is a British-born photographer who lives and works in New York. She began her career at the dawn of punk rock working for music magazines The Face and Melody Maker. Drawn to the underground hip-hop scene, she moved to NYC in 1983 where she photographed pioneers Run DMC, Slick Rick, Salt-N-Pepa, Grand Master Flash, and LL Cool J. She has published four books, The Breaks: Stylin’ and Profilin’, 1982-1990 among them. Her work has been exhibited in galleries worldwide and is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian and the Museum of the City of New York.
Cey Adams, a New York City native, emerged from the downtown graffiti movement to exhibit alongside fellow artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. He appeared in the historic 1982 PBS documentary Style Wars, which tracks subway graffiti art in New York. As the Creative Director of hip hop mogul Russell Simmons’ Def Jam Recordings, he co-founded the Drawing Board, the label’s in-house visual design firm. He exhibits, lectures, and teaches art workshops at institutions all over the US and Canada. He coauthored DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop, published by Harper-Collins, and designed Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label, published by Rizzoli.