22 March 2010

Invited guest: Chris Zedano

It's a bit cliché, I suppose, to talk about New York City's "characters," but arriving here from South America years ago, I couldn't help but be struck by them -- and drawn to them, performers in particular.
I was also, of course, seduced by the city's landscape, especially a small, quiet, sliver in the heart of TriBeCa called Staple Street, which I came across quite by chance one day.

There’s something about Staple Street that I can’t explain with words. Maybe it’s the narrowness of the street, which makes me feel protected, cut off from the rest of the city; or maybe it’s the arched bridge between the buildings, a sort of monument to urban connection; or maybe it’s the dilapidated sidewalk that always seems on the verge of repair but never quite makes it, a little like some of the performers I met.

The street still has a grimy, industrial, and to me, romantic feel to it despite its proximity to the trendy, high-end real estate that has spread throughout lower Manhattan like an oil slick. The people I met and photographed have maintained a similar integrity, and thus for me, provided a similar romance.

I met artists and eccentrics of all stripes -- dancers, jugglers, actors, magicians, body painters, mimes, card sharks, singers, clowns. They were vibrant, defiant, shy, sad, sly, witty, odd, exuberant, angry, giving -- a perfect representation of the city itself, and of this tiny street that dates back to at least the early 19th century.

Images from the project are being exhibited in Fraser Gallery part of the 9th Annual International Photography Competition from March 12th through April 3rd. Pictures from "Staple Street" will also be exhibited at the National Art Club in New York as part of an event that will be held on June 1st 2010.
In Europe: at the Group Exhibition at AFF Berlin - Part of the European Month of Photography Biennial in November 2010.
invited by joanna