THE DEVIL’S PIT
The New York Times invited 100 fotografers from around the
world to drop by and meet a number of interested NYC foto-
people (art directors, foto editors, gallerists, etc.) to show them
some work. They invited me, so here I am, in NYC.
Thrilled? I’m sure!
That will all be taking place Saturday; I intend to post some
stuff about it here. But I won’t have time to write it and still
post this drool. So today I’ll just riff here about the day and
a half I’ve spent, so far, in the city. . . .
This place is a throbbing, seething mass of humanity and a
fantastic place to take the fotos. In fact, just about anywhere
you look there are folks with their dSLR’s and their point and
shoots and their iFones and iPads, snapping away. And if you
care to look at just where these devices are pointed, well, look
no further than any typical NYC cliché. From the folks posing
in front of the famous architecture and landmarks, to the more
devout shutterbugs capturing some alluring detail on a building.
Fine by me, that’s one of fotografy’s primary uses: the souvenir.
In fact, let me throw a couple of fotos into that almost infinite
pool. . .
Empire State Bldg. and Grand Central Terminal interior
And then there are the hard-core foto-folks being adventurous
and aiming, while they are here in NYC, to not capture New York
clichés. Instead these hard-core folks seem to be intent upon
shooting general foto-tropes (light on wet streets, strange
urban details and faces, and so on, you know what I mean)
while here in the city. They’ll tell you: “It’s my photography“.
But, me being me, I’m stuck on my own clichés and, given the
chance to go to Hunts Point, The Bronx, with Chris Arnade, to
visit some crack houses, well. . . .how could I resist?
Rachel, Hunts Point, The Bronx
For those that don’t know, Chris has been photographing sex
workers and addicts in Hunts Point, one of the roughest, most
dangerous spots in the USA, for a number of years.
My shot of Chris, Hunts Point, the Bronx
I first met him online and then he came to Ottawa where he
gave a talk at SPAO and we got to to meet face-to-face, got
to sit down and compare notes. We were both struck by the
similarities of our experiences.
And, speaking of experiences. . .here’s a short clip of Rachel
talking with Chris, shot in the cleanest crack house I’ve ever
“The Devil’s Pit”
Now, if you’re like me that time spent in the Bronx sure was
more interesting than going to Macy’s, strolling the Village
or checking out architecture. Though, this being NYC, those
things are pretty interesting, too. But everybody sees them.
You can (and should) check out Chris’ work here: XXXX