One of my favourite activities when I lived in NYC was to to go around the city taking photographs of interesting textures, then recombining the bits and pieces to make something new. A ‘remix’ of the city, as it were.
The featured image at the top of this page was constructed this way. The source photographs were taken in the Lower East Side in Manhattan, over a radius of several blocks. From the Williamsburg Bridge / Delancey Street, over to Allen, down to Canal… New York is a great walking city. Great for people watching and just noticing interesting things in general.
I lived in NYC twice in my life. The first time was from 1983 to 1995; formative years spent as a young artist, exhibiting my artwork in East Village and SoHo galleries, scraping by and eventually starting a family.
The second time was from 2006 – 2008; yet more formative years working on high profile art direction projects and reconnecting with the crackling creative energy that runs like electricity through the city.
I have a vast library of source images compiled from various parts of the city from that second era, along with a number of finished collages that I assembled as part of a project called ‘NYC Remixed’.
Creating the collages in the project was fun and interesting. Taking the photographs were a great way to interact with the dynamism of New York; it was summer, the weather was hot and the city takes on an added level of funk and agitation that only adds to the intensity of the place.
On a deeper level, creating the collages were a kind of meditation on how things that seem solid and fixed are, in fact, fluid and malleable. Buildings, streets and even the past… All raw materials to be repurposed, repositioned, redesigned to create something new.