STREET, a hard-bound book 9 1/2″x 11″ 106 black and white photographs shot in New York City from 1975 through 1998.
About this project
A few photographs from STREET
Boxes and boxes of my negatives were at best taking up shelf space in my apartment, collecting dust and not examined for years. Much of the work was unedited, un-published. The majority of the photographs were taken on the streets of New York City, my hometown since the summer of 1975. After a few years of scanning, editing and designing, a book of NYC from the 1970’s through the 1990’s called STREET emerged from these long ago, developed, strips of Tri-X film. They are not pictures of the unfamiliar. Many are photographs taken in the neighborhoods I lived in but I photographed all over the city when it was grittier, dirtier and scarier than now. Before much of the graffiti was scrubbed away and the garbage-strewn playgrounds were raked and reborn as sprouting flower gardens. These images are timeless though as children still play in the parks, streets, schoolyards, commuters still have long waits and face the elements, there are forever demonstrations, parades and memorials to those who have died. Many show the streets in their noble, littered glory, pedestrians watching fires, escaping from them, the homeless sleeping where they can, payphones seen and used as a part of the urban landscape, the partying crowd at the trendy nightclubs.
People’s routines though, behavior, habits stay the same. It is a relatable, tender and often humorous set of images and it could be anyone of us in them, living our lives here. People absorbed with one another with aloofness, with intimacy. A city filled with contradictions.
I have always been more interested in the subtle and familiar moments of everyday life, not the big news stories. They are telling in different ways and just as powerful. Nothing was scripted but played out right before me. As Patti Smith once said,” You need no rational, no schooling. It’s love at first sight. You see something and you have to capture it. Instinctive, bang, you feel one with it.” I don’t really have a philosophy about shooting other than I trust my instinct. As Robert Frank has coined it, “a spontaneous intuition.” I saw, I shot, I moved on. I looked for moments that make my heart beat so loud it almost knocked me off my feet. The rush of knowing you come upon something real and beautiful. This is why–– and how–– I shoot pictures and how STREET came to be.
I worked with Mark Bussell, former Photography Editor of the NY TIMES with the initial edit and editorial and graphic designer Mare Earley who helped sequence the images and design the book. STREET will have a multi-generational appeal and will be both familiar and a surprise. This is a culmination of twenty-five years of shooting on the streets of NYC and will be transformed into a beautifully printed, hard bound book which will include a foreward by a renowned author and back cover prose by the photographer, Sylvia Plachy.
Risks and challenges
I have lined up a publisher who is respected and has produced beautiful books and I feel proud they want to bring STREET to life. The only challenge here, is if the funds are not raised. I have faith they will be. The $37,500 will cover the costs to get this book published, which includes the printing, distribution, marketing and design. Anything remaining will go towards a concurrent gallery show in NYC. STREET is to be published nine months after the date I submit the funds to the publisher. Thanks so much for your generosity and support!