Photographers James and Karla Murray spent ten years documenting New York City’s ever-evolving storefronts, and recently published their decade-long project into the popular book, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York. Of the project, the photographers say, ”STORE FRONT provides an irreplaceable window to the rich cultural experience of New York City as seen through its neighborhood shops.”
The strength of the series is found in it’s wide-lens, capturing a time when opening a small business in New York was actually a viable option, and comparing that to the gentrified and corporatized Manhattan of today. This can be seen in vivid and stark contrast in photos like the Delightful Coffee Shop in Harlem being replaced by a ubiquitous Dunkin’ Donuts (above). Many of storefronts shows lost clients due to the ever-increasing rent, business which remain empty today, which has a depressing, darkening effect on the people who still remain in the community. James Murray says of the idea behind the series, “until you place them side-by-side and really look at the two photos, you cannot get the true sense of loss experienced by the neighborhood.”
“Takeesha was working one of the streets in an empty industrial area. She called me over and said, ‘Hey, take my picture,’” Arnade recalls. “I was relatively cautious initially because I didn’t want to be insulting, but she opened up and started telling me her life story.”
A former Citigroup financier of 20 years, Chris Arnade, became disillusioned by the narrow-mindedness and greediness of the corporate world. As a way to escape his unhappiness in Wall Street, he started taking long walks with camera in hand. He strolled through Hunts Point in the Bronx, one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. It was there, while on a walk around town, where he met a very friendly and honest prostitute named Takeesha.
She opened up, he photographed her. Astonished by her honesty, Chris insisted in creating a positive and honest image of her friend Takeesha.
From then on his life changed for the better. He traded his job for his new-found hobby: Taking honest and vibrant photographs of prostitutes, homeless people, and drug addicts in the South Bronx. He would not only take photographs of them, but he would also get acquainted and makes friends with these ‘rejects of society.’
“Hunts Point is a dark cloud with a silver lining. It’s people who are seemingly in the lowest of the low positions who are still somehow resilient. Those moments of resilience can be very optimistic.”
Although there are many whom are against his work (some calling it ‘exploitative’), Arnade stands by his images and his daily walks with pride. In a way, this is Arnade’s way to give back. See, Aranade grew up with the Catholic Church, a doctrine which taught him to do good in order to make up for the sins he’s committed in the past. Although always a very honest man, Arnade’s past with Wall Street haunts him daily, and his new found love of the camera and new friends make up for the piled guilt he felt for many years.
I want to make conventional portraits for unconventional people.
His images are simple, yet quite powerful. He captures these reject’s livelihood in a very honest and nonchalant way. The background is their native space and not a studio. Their clothes is not borrowed, but its theirs. Arnade’s images are crammed with damaged, but optimistic outlooks- he does not what to portray anything different; vulnerability is key. (via PolicyMic)
“Distressed, destroyed, or embellished, it’s the chosen fashion of outlaws, punks, rebels and bikers. To them, a jacket is an identity, a medium to express loyalty, acceptance, love, hate, rejection, freedom and nonconformity. In most cases, one can easily identify the rebellious type by their jacket alone. More specifically, members within their respective communities recognize the significance of various colors and patches as marks of rank and origin or acts of violence committed on behalf of the club. In punk subculture, even the chosen type of spike or stud adornment has a specific connotation. Because of its inherent mobility, potential for variety and badass undertone, the jacket is an art form like no other.
To introduce its new space, an incubator for creativity, ALLDAYEVERYDAY will present a selection of unique jackets, as customized by talents from the colliding worlds of art, fashion and music.” – ALLDAYEVERYDAY
Their show opens this saturday (the 27th) in New York. Wach the commercial for their show after the jump, sounds great!
At age 72, Mernet Larson is having her first solo show in new york right now. Her show Three Chapters is slated to be shown in three consecutive bodies of work– Heads and Bodies, Places, and Narratives. The first two have already come and gone, but if you’re in the NY area you should check out her Narratives chapter at the Johannes Vogt gallery before it gets taken down on the 27th . “These works navigate the divide between abstraction and representation with a form of geometric figuration that owes less to Cubo-Futurism than to de Chirico, architectural rendering and early Renaissance painting of the Sienese kind. They relish human connection and odd, stretched out, sometimes contradictory perspectival effects, often perpetuated by radical shifts in scale.” - New York Times (via)
I first got into Zach Johnsen’s work a few years ago when he lived in New York. But for a while now, he’s been in Portland, and it looks like he’s making his raddest stuff yet. He always incorporated fantastic characters into his mixed media work, and he’s continued to do so, creating more wooden cut-out installations and a series of graphite drawings infused with explosive watercolor elements. Johnsen’s always done a great job of rendering the darker side of life. His characters are full of dark eyes and yellowing teeth. Seriously awesome stuff from this dude, always.
Jason Middlebrook‘s work incorporates lines onto wood planks found in New York State, as the artist forms abstract ‘landscape’ painting that play with colour. The artist’s painterly abstracted forms create a hypnotic quality to the work, as the ordered lines subvert patterns of trees to seek a re-engagement in our relationship with nature itself.
Illustrator Liza Corbett lives and works in New York, previously having studied at Syracuse University and the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy. Her dark fantasies and fairy tales populated by angular ladies, weed-people, and animal bones have appeared in exhibitions both here and abroad, as well as on the pages of Atlantic Monthly, Bitch Magazine, and - best of all, amirite? – now Beautiful/Decay. Check out her creations after the jump. Oh, and maybe try to find all the severed limbs. It’s like a Where’s Waldo of scissor-cut hands, really.
Christian Weber‘s photography definitely catches your attention. Whether it’s a screaming baboon or just a straight on portrait, his shots are memorable. My favorite is of the one and only Karl Lagerfeld.