This is for kindred spirits who have read this blog, and in particular the articles on photography and the vanishing urban landscape. And for souls like me that bemoan the disappearance of vintage NYC and appreciate its rich visual history. I have been photographing the gritty, graffiti-etched surfaces of NYC since 1976. As a young photographer, I was particularly inspired by the work of Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Helen Levitt, Ruth Orkin, and Weegee.
I had two exhibits of my NYC photographs in the Netherlands in the 1981, and an art critic commented that I should have endeavored to document social injustices like Bruce Davidson did in his East Harlem series, or like my personal favorite Lewis Hine did in his harrowing photos of young, poor immigrants. But I have always been true to my vision – one that goes back to when my dad gave me my first camera at age 13. And that is to capture and preserve the ephemeral urban landscape – highlighting aspects of consumerism and pop culture before they vanish forever. Sometimes people enter the picture, but they are an integral part of this landscape rather than the primary focal point – with a few exceptions.
Although way too many areas of NYC have been plasticized/gentrified, there are still vestiges of beautiful urban decay that no other American city rivals. I still bemoan the demise of the pulsing, gritty underbelly that was Times Square – seedy, indeed, but a lot more real than the hyped-up Disneyfied place it has become. I am thankful that I captured these urban vistas before they disappeared.
Some of my favorite photos were taken in NYC in the late 70s – and now you can own one for a small fraction of the 1981 gallery cost. Please help keep this blog advertising free and receive a piece of vanishing NYC. For a donation of $20 or more, I will send you one beautiful, high quality, borderless 5 x 7 inch print on 61-lb premium matte photo paper. For a donation of $35 or more, I will send you two photos. These prints will come to you in a protective envelope and are ready to mat or frame. You can choose from the below photos – just indicate your choice by photograph number. Click on the donation button on the top left side for secure PayPal payment. This offer is good in the U.S. only.