About photobooks – old and new.
Author: Sophie Bramly,
Title: Walk This Way
Published in 2015 by Anoite de Beaupre/Gallerie 213, Paris in 2015.
A limited edition of 500, each with a print signed by the photographer.
4to, a photographically illustrated softcover and a printed acetate dust jacket.
This work is an important contribution to the historiography of New York City, covering the nascent hip hop scene of the 1980s. As described by Fab 5 Freddy in the introductory pages, this was a new culture exploding in the ghettos of NYC including rapping, breakdancing, Djing and graffiti art. Progressively downtown NY, in clubs like Roxy, got acquainted with this new culture.
The French journalists and music critics through the intermediation of the magazine “Actuel” were covering the new phenomenon, recording the music, producing films, developing photo reportage and interviews. Sophie Bramly was in NY around this pivotal time and documented the hip hop culture, photographing DJs, MCs, graffiti artists and break dancers in candid and intimate moments. She befriended many of the Hip Hop protagonists, who opened the doors of their homes to her and her camera.
Thirty years later, “Walk this Way” offers to a broader public important images of that culture, which became later a multi-billion dollar phenomenon. The 55 black and white and 37 color photos included in this book feature famous artists, such as Africa Bambaataa, Kool Herc, Russell Simmons, The Beastie Boys, Futura 2000, Herbie Hancock, and more. Fab 5 Freddy wrote the introduction for this publication.
As Sophie Brambly explains in the book, these photos are not only a document of the Hip Hop culture, but also a reflection of hundreds of teenagers’ responses to a complex social situation – people in the Bronx used to live in devastated neighborhoods where violence was inevitable. These artists have developed with their own talent an alternative to that destiny.