New Wave… according to Wikipedia, it’s defined as “an umbrella term for several late-1970s to mid-1980s pop/rock styles with ties to 1970s punk rock.”
Aging Gracefully…according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery it is “showing signs of aging, but still powering forward with life…[a] term [that] feels almost negative or backhanded…[a] phrase we use to describe someone who isn’t looking as good as they once did.”
Perhaps it’s more of a testament to New Wave music – which always had more a happy (in an ironic sort of way) beat than punk or rock – that so many of these one-time icons are still with us. The fact that they are aging gracefully says a lot. They have avoided the alternatives – which would be death, or a visit to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
For those of you who remember, New York City (and its subways) were a very different place in the 1970s and 1980s. If you’ve been to the City in the last 20 years or so, your experience on them has probably been a very different one than that shown in this collection of photos featured on the Imgur website. In fact, what you see here may be downright unrecognizable.
Let me assure you – they are accurate. In fact, the photos induced smell memories (they say those are the ones that stay with you the longest). I grew up outside the City in the ‘70s. I worked in the City in the ’80s. I avoided the subways as much as a girl from Connecticut possibly could. But then – Grand Central was no picnic either.
I wouldn’t have dared to take a picture inside the subway or one of its gritty stations, but I’m glad these folks did and that its been curated into a set of 60 images. Bruce Davidson is credited with a few of these, but like the riders photographed, the majority of the sources go uncredited.
If you find yourself in Miami’s South Beach for 24 hours like I recently did (or even less), make a stop at the Sagamore Hotel. The Sagamore unabashedly refers to itself as the “Art Hotel” of the Miami Beach Art Deco District – but it is with good reason. The hotel is a showcase for the Cricket Taplin Collection of contemporary art.
At the centerpiece of this collection is the “Women Are Beautiful” street photo collection by Garry Winogrand. Yes – there are 85 Winogrands in the room to your left, just past the hotel lobby (aka “The Game Room”). Walk in and you will see…literally, walls of Winogrands!
Photo by KazzaDrask Media.
The king of ethereal, yet-so-completely-of-this world color street photography Saul Leiter passed away late last year. But a documentary of his craft, filmed over the last few years of his life, is now making its debut.
In No Great Hurry tells the story of Leiter, “now considered among the very best of the New York School street photographers, and a leading exponent in the artistic use of color film.” While Leiter took the majority of his renowned shots in New York City in the 1950s, it was nearly half a century later when he came to the attention of most of us. A 2006 monograph “Early Color”, renewed interest in the photographer, who also loved to paint (one look at some of his famous photos and you’ll immediately get the connection).
While Leiter’s photos of New York often have a dream-like quality to them, they are still photos of a fast-moving city. The title of the film does not reflect that, but rather emphasizes Leiter’s style. Here is a man who was perfectly content to let slide negatives of his street photos lie dormant for years while he made a living doing commercial photography and painting. Perhaps in this age of Instagram we can all learn a thing or two.
I’m looking forward to seeing In No Great Hurry – but I’ll take a leaf from Leiter, and wait until it comes my way.
Read the New York Times review of In No Great Hurry here.