Photography

Striking Photos of Empty New York City Locations in the 1960s

It’s hard to imagine a perpetually populated New York City spot like Penn Station free of people, but photographer Duane Michals captured the quiet side of the iconic locale, and others, in his Empty New York series. Started in the 1960s, Michals explored the streets of New York during the early morning hours, capturing shops, parks, and subway cars. His striking work was the subject of a recent exhibition at DC Moore Gallery that closed in May.

“It was a fortuitous event for me [to discover the work of Eugene Atget in a book]. I became so enchanted by the intimacy of the rooms and streets and people he photographed that I found myself looking at twentieth–century New York in the early morning through his nineteenth-century eyes,” the artist stated. “Everywhere seemed a stage set. I would awaken early on Sunday mornings and wander through New York with my camera, peering into shop windows and down cul-de-sacs with a bemused Atget looking over my shoulder.”

Michals reinterpretation of the metropolis is theatrical and sometimes eerie, bringing an unexpected philosophical resonance to everyday spaces like a laundromat. See more of these rare gelatin silver prints in our gallery.

Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art will exhibit Michals’ other work from November 1 through February 16. Visit DC Moore Gallery through the end of the month to see the paintings of Robert De Niro, Sr., father of actor Robert De Niro. … Read More

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Photographer Breaks Each of the ‘10 Commandments’ in Witty, Sinful Self-Portraits

New York City-based photographer Anna Friemoth’s terrific portrait series 10 Commandments makes those abstract biblical rules for living playfully — even provocatively — concrete, as Friemoth turns the breaking of each commandment into a clever self-portrait of sin. Click through to check out the photographer’s bad… Read More

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Rare Vintage Photos of Big-City Burlesque Beauties of the 1950s

Although it ceased publication in 1955, the Brooklyn Eagle, which was founded in 1841, had the good mind to give its archives over to the Brooklyn Public Library. And while people like to talk about the time we’re living in now as the Golden Era of Brooklyn, one only has to take a few minutes to look through these archives to see that there was truly no place like Brooklyn during the first half of the 20th century. … Read More

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Spirited Retirees Reenact Pop Culture Scenes for (Another) Calendar

Way back in January, the Internet went crazy over a German retirement community that released a calendar placing its senior residents into the roles of beloved film characters. Turns out some folks who probably don’t spend 80 percent of their time glued to the web were also inspired by those creative Germans: Senior Living Communities, a chain of retirement communities across the US, decided to take the idea one step further and create a “Pop Culture Calendar.” In this wonderful 18-month booklet, which we spotted on Uproxx, Senior Living’s retirees “Blue Skidoo” their way into movie scenes, album covers, and a Norman Rockwell painting, playing everyone from Forrest Gump to Bo Derek. We can only hope to have as much spirit and spunk as these folks in our twilight years. … Read More

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Fascinating (and Potentially Despair-Inducing) Photos of Baltimore Artists’ Workspaces

Pretty much every impoverished artist in Bushwick or Ridgewood is perpetually entertaining semi-serious plans of just giving up on the J train and moving to Detroit. Or Berlin. Or… Baltimore. If you’re one of these people and you’re already struggling to fight off your goodbye-to-all-that urges, perhaps it’s best if you don’t look at these photos by photographers Rob Brulinski and Alex Wein, which document the frankly awesome-looking workspaces of a bunch of Baltimore-based artists. The series is based around a locally famous loft building called The CopyCat, where residents have transformed a defunct factory into some pretty sweet spaces, most likely for a fraction of what Brooklynites are paying. If that hasn’t already sunk you into a pit of existential despair, you can read more about the project, including a fascinating interview with Brulinski, at Feature Shoot. … Read More

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Strangely Mesmerizing Photos of Amusement Park Rides

Although we rarely think about it, amusement park rides are designed with a very specific purpose in mind: to lure potential riders, particularly ones who are already overstimulated by the sights, sounds, and scents of the fairground. Hence the candy colors, the lights, the vague yet glamorous themes, like pop music and sports. German photographer Daniel Sebastian Schaub draws attention to all this artifice in Wondrous Whirligigs, a photo series that captures these strikingly similar rides vacant and at rest. The images (spotted via Fubiz) are mesmerizing, both in their subjects and in the starkness with which they depict what Schaub refers to as “the game of simulation.” … Read More

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X-Rays of Toys and Their Complex Interiors

If you were the kind of kid who enjoyed tearing the heads off your Barbie dolls and prying your toys open to see how things looked on the inside, Brendan Fitzpatrick’s will bring back a few memories. The Australian photographer is famous for his X-ray art. He uses chest X-rays and mammogram machines to explore the inner workings of various objects and natural forms. In this series, which we learned about on Colossal, the artist has scanned toy robots, guns, and action figures, revealing their complex interiors. Take a closer look in our gallery. … Read More

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Subtle, Beautiful Photos of Man-Made Light Moving Through Natural Environments

This series of photos by Norwegian photographer Ole Brodersen goes by the name “Trespassing,” and it’s based around a fascinating concept: recording the movements of human-made objects through a series of pretty spectacular natural environments. The photos — which we spotted via Faith Is Torment — are long exposures taken so that the objects in question are represented as trails of light, their trajectories as organic and unpredictable as those of everything else in the settings that Brodersen chooses. And quite apart from the concept, they’re just really beautiful photos — painting-with-light photos too often devolve into novelty territory, but these are subtle and effective. The streaks of color serve more to accentuate the landscape then to dominate it, and the resultant images have a certain sense of stillness and serenity. There’s more of Brodersen’s work — along with a video documenting the creation of this series — at his website. … Read More

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We Love to Watch: Beautiful, Intimate Art Explores Voyeurism

We are all voyeurs, but it may be artists who are best at being voyeurs, because they’re able to take their desire to spy and to watch, and make it into a study of humanity. In the group exhibit Voyeur, which is in its last week at New York’s Lyons Wier Gallery, artists peek into the lives of others, creating startlingly personal works that walk the line between curiosity and violation. Lyons Wier gave us an exclusive sample of the work; click through to preview Voyeur, and if you’re in the city, make plans to visit the gallery before the exhibit closes on the 19th. … Read More

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Terry Richardson and ‘Playboy’ Can Have Each Other

Who the hell reads Playboy these days? The answer, perhaps inevitably, appears to be: Terry Richardson. As reported widely over the weekend, Uncle Terry has shot a 100-page special edition of the antediluvian porn mag, which comes out on Valentine’s Day next year. Richardson has posted some of the pictures on his blog (yes, of course they’re NSFW). Clearly, the idea of letting Richardson loose on a bunch of girls will have people asking what Playboy was thinking, and rightly so. But the abiding impression is that it’s all so… so lame. … Read More

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