Frontier New York - Preface

In the city most of our perceptions are formed with images of very specific, well-known landmarks and neighborhoods. We travel from one place to the next noting only rather superficial details, which confirm where we are. The outdoors, open sky, horizon, weather, and light are experienced incidentally, sometime as welcome sunlight and comfortable temperatures or as the nuisance of inclement conditions.

Specific areas are generally perceived by what functions they serve, becoming less or more desirable by the level of maintenance and upkeep of the buildings and streets. Of course, there is widespread affection for many of the interesting architectural landmarks, parks, and other attractions, but somehow there remain many pockets in and round New York that are relatively unused and ignored, having become obsolete. As these areas have been deserted, they have reverted to a neglected frontier abutting the functional metropolis.

It is to these areas that I have long been drawn, lingering there to meditate on a quality of light, space and weather. In the decay and desertion of these run-down places, there is much for me to explore, and I find the atmosphere to be rich in mystery, reminiscent of a lost city. Early on, around 1976, I would head for the west side of lower Manhattan to explore the abandoned Miller Highway. On the vast expanses of that deteriorating roadway-- better known as the West Side Highway-- I found unblocked sunlight, an open horizon, and all varieties of weather. It is this spirit that I have branched out in my adventures, taking my camera to many other places in the New York area. The resulting images describe a transitory experience of atmosphere, where daylight, weather and artificial light combine in ethereal, otherworldly ways.

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